Create a Rube Goldberg inspired drawing with a fun STEAM activity that combines creative thinking and simple machines. STEAM is the combination of science, technology, engineering, art and math to help develop creative thinking skills for kids.
In the style of cartoonist, Rube Goldberg your child will create an imaginative drawing that illustrates a simple brain task like opening and closing your mouth with simple machines.
A Rube Goldberg contraption takes a simple task and makes it extraordinarily complicated. Below are two fun video examples.
For more Rube Goldberg contraption inspiration check out this round up of videos.
Lesson Objective: Create a drawing and writing piece that communicates a simple brain task by using a variety of simple machines and art elements (lines, shapes, colors) in the style of cartoonist Rube Goldberg.
Variety is the use of different elements in the artwork (different lines, shapes and colors). Variety creates excitment in an artwork.
A Machine is a tool that helps us do work.
Simple machines are machines with few or no moving parts. Examples of simple machines, Lever, Inclined Plane, Wedge, Screw, Wheel and Axel, Pulley. Click here to learn more about simple machines.
Paper, Pencil, Drawing Materials (colored pencil, crayons or markers) Scissors, Glue, Computer, Printer
Step 1: Draw a silhouette profile of a head. (Younger artists may wish to trace a profile example. Find a silhouette image and have your child trace on to their own paper. Be sure to encourage your artist to change the image to reflect their own unique look).
Step 2: Plan a “Rube Goldberg contraption” to show a simple brain task such as opening and closing the mouth. The plan should include at least 5 steps using the different simple machines (lever, inclined plane, wedge, screw, wheel, or pulley).
Step 3: Draw your plan inside the silhouette. Think about using a variety of lines, shapes and colors to illustrate your design. Drawing Tip: Once you have finished adding your color, outline the drawing in black marker to give the drawing a finished look.
Step 4: Type on the computer the written steps of your illustration. Copy and paste the directions so they repeat to fill the page. Print out the page.
Step 5: Cut out the silhouette and glue on top of the written directions. Mount on black paper for finished look.
Activity Extension: Build your own simple machines to engineer and video record your own Rube Goldberg inspired contraption.
This post is part of the A-Z STEM series. Click here to find more STEM related activities.