Use of a Rube Goldberg design project for engineering dynamics
Devin R. Berg

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Type: Paper
Tags: engineering education, engineering

title= {Use of a Rube Goldberg design project for engineering dynamics},
keywords= {engineering education, engineering},
booktitle= {2015 ASEE Annual Conference \& Exposition},
author= {Devin R. Berg},
year= {2015},
doi= {10.18260/p.24976},
address= {Seattle, Washington},
license= {},
abstract= {Rube Goldberg was a cartoonist and engineer who is best known for his series of cartoons which show complicated gadgets designed to complete simple tasks. The phrase “Rube Goldberg” has since been adopted as an adjective used to describe the act of accomplishing something simple through complicated means. When Rube Goldberg design is incorporated into the engineering classroom it allows for a unique blend of creativity and challenge that is often hard to accommodate in engineering.This paper will present a first look at my use of a Rube Goldberg design project as a tool for teaching engineering dynamics. The project was implemented as a semester long assignment.Students were divided into groups and assigned a theme picked from the topic areas covered in the engineering dynamics curriculum, for example: instantaneous centers of rotation, damped vibration, or impulsive motion. Each group must then build one stage of what will become a class Rube Goldberg machine under the stipulation that their stage must demonstrate the assigned topic area. Further, a report must be submitted describing the assigned topic area and how their stage demonstrates that topic area. One additional aspect to the project is that at the end of the semester, each stage will be assembled to build the full Rube Goldberg machine. As such, the student groups must communicate with each other to determine how to transition between stages. This aspect is intended to incorporate an additional layer of communication and collaboration early in the undergraduate engineering curriculum.This project is being piloted during the current semester and thus first results will be presented in the full paper regarding the outcomes associated with the use of this course project.},
superseded= {},
terms= {}