Reflection: Intrinsic Motivation Rube Goldberg Challenge - Section 3: Student Activity


Keeping the kids motivated and working can be a challenge of this lesson. The final outcome is not tied to the success of the project, but to quality of their design. Some students may not feel motivated to compete this assignment and instead perform the minimum required. It is important to keep your students engaged and not allow them to simply play with the materials.

I wander around the room and discuss with the students what they want to accomplish. Having the end in mind when they are designing helps them to visualize what they need to build. Allow them to brainstorm, but be mindful that they also need to be working and experimenting. I try to reenforce a switch in their heads from learning and performing for a grade to learning and performing for the joy of experimenting. This activity needs to be fun. I often need to focus on one student in a group. If I can motivate that student then the other students follow along. It his activity success breed success. As soon as the kids taste the fun of a successful single event they want to intrinsically challenge themselves to build the second event and so on.

  Student Motivation
  Intrinsic Motivation: Student Motivation
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Rube Goldberg Challenge

Unit 12: Engineering and Design
Lesson 7 of 11

Objective: Students will be able to build a complicated nonsensical machine to accomplish a simple task (Rube Goldberg Machine) in order to learn engineering skills.

Big Idea: Building a Rube Goldberg Machine (complicated process to accomplish a simple task) teaching engineering principles of design.

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rube goldberg
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