Materials List: Design Your Own Rube Goldberg Machine

  • examples of simple and complex machines (pulleys, hammer, ramps, bicycle, wheelbarrow, etc.)
  • illustrations of Rube Goldberg machines
    Weekly invention: Safety device for walking on icy pavements. When you slip on ice, your foot kicks paddle A, lowering finger B, snapping turtle C extends neck to bite finger, opening ice tongs D and dropping piillow E, thus allowing you to fall on something soft!
    Example of a Rube Goldberg machine. See more cartoons at
    Copyright © Rube Goldberg is the ® and © of Rube Goldberg Inc.
  • assorted wood, metals, plastics and composites
  • foam core board and extruded foam insulation make good bases as they are light, sturdy, and easy to attach things to
  • miscellaneous construction materials such as wire hangers, cardboard, screws, wire, string, glue and tape
  • assorted tools, such as screwdrivers, saws, drills and hammers
  • poster paper, markers, crayons, pencils, rulers, etc.
  • assorted discarded "raw materials," for student prototypes
  • assorted materials that students bring from home, which may be returned at project end