Rube Goldberg Machine STEAM Challenge

Image of a child playing with plastic blocks. Text says, "Destination Imagination STEAM Challenge: Rube Goldberg Machine"

Engineering challenges aren’t just about building things; they’re about igniting curiosity and unleashing creativity! With a Rube Goldberg machine, kids dive into a world where science meets art, technology, and problem-solving. It’s not just fun—it’s an educational adventure! And here’s the best part: you can construct your machine using items you already have at home. From cardboard tubes to cereal boxes, the possibilities are endless, making this project accessible and exciting for kids of all ages.

Ready to get started? Here’s your challenge! Using only what you have on hand, design and build a Rube Goldberg machine that can launch a tennis ball. Then, dive deeper with our processing questions to explore teamwork, problem-solving, and creativity.

Suggested Materials: Cardboard, paper towel tubes, construction paper, tape, marbles, balls, cans, string, blocks or Legos, craft sticks, pulley, spatula, funnel, dominoes, toy car, aluminum foil, rubber bands, fan.

Processing Questions:

  • How did you collaborate as a team to build your device?
  • What didn’t work, and how could you have improved it?
  • What other materials would you have liked to use?
  • Instead of launching a tennis ball, what other types of actions would you want your Rube Goldberg device to complete?