Kids' Rube Goldberg machine

Here's video of the triumphant success of an elaborate kids' Rube Goldberg machine, created at an "informal Rube Goldberg summer camp for kids ages 3-8." I know nothing about this summer-camp, but it seems like one of the great Good Things of our era -- especially judging from the awesome elation of the kids after the successful run!

How to Get a Beach Ball Into a Galvanized Bucket (the Hard Way)



  1. I’m going to email that to my 5 year old niece, she loves building stuff like that. And yes, she does have her own email account. Go figure.

  2. Oh, how funny. We just signed up for a class like this. The kids learn about levers and pulleys and other simple machines and I think the class culminates with the construction of a mousetrap-contraption like this one. It’s a great education model (hands-on learning and all that) and its a good business model, too. People are going to want to take their kids to extra-curricular classes even when they cut other things from the budget. I could see a lot more classes and camps and other alternative education programs like this one doing very well in places with lots of kids, which is pretty much everywhere.

  3. Video is 1:36… 0:40 of intro titles, and 0:30 of credits at the end.

    Why not just post a 20-second video of actual content?

  4. I hate it when I watch a YouTube video that takes up 30-plus seconds of a 90-second clip with the frickin’ INTRO. That’s right up there on the annoyance scale with TYPING IN ALL CAPS. Seriously, people, get a clue and just show the damn clip. It’s ten times as funny without the shlepping introduction, which took 35 seconds to show, but maybe ten (max) to read.

  5. Awesome!

    I’m 61 and have been trying to think of good ways to get kids interested in science and engineering in a positive way.

    If I was exposed to that experience in the video, at that age (3 to 6 or whatever), I would probably rule the world by now.

    But in a totally cool way.

  6. Ha! There is just nothing better than the reaction of kids to science-in-action.

    Quick story: My son went through a phase of being a very independent 5 year old. He had to get and do everything for himself with no help. One day he told me he was going to make himself something to drink. I asked if he wanted help but I knew he would say no.

    So I followed him into the kitchen and watched him struggle to reach the cups in the cabinet. He reached and reached but just couldn’t get a cup. Finally, just as if it was second nature, he took both fists and banged on the counter top–resulting in a plastic cup tumbling out of the cabinet. You would have thought he did stuff like that all of the time. He just picked up the cup, blew it off, then headed to the fridge.

    Kids + science = great times

  7. Wow, thanks for the shout out, Cory — how nice to discover we are “one of the great Good Things of our era!”

    Just FYI, it wasn’t exactly a camp, more like moms getting together to find something entertaining for our kids (and ourselves) to do so we wouldn’t all murder each other the week before school started.

    As for the credits — sorry they’re so long. They were created to give our usual audience (friends and family) a little context, and a taste of the building anticipation we ourselves experienced as the project progressed. I would definitely advise those of you who found yourselves getting impatient during those interminable 37 seconds *never* to attempt to build a Rube Goldberg machine of your own…

    Cheers, and thanks again!


    PS: You might also enjoy our homemade pinball machine:

    1. I would definitely advise those of you who found yourselves getting impatient during those interminable 37 seconds *never* to attempt to build a Rube Goldberg machine of your own…
      Mikala 1, Internet grouches 0 :v

      That video is awesome and you guys look like you have a lot of fun :)

  8. That was the sweetest thing ever. And yes, the pure joy at the end brought tears to my eyes, too!

    But what’s with the grumpy people here? It’s not as you have to watch everything, just skip to the action if you suffer from short attention span. I liked that the video gave a context for what we were going to see, and I really enjoyed the end credits.

  9. Oh, I watched the homemade pinball machine, and that was even more awesome. At the begining I thought that oh, that would be so fun to make with my daughter and one could just keep improving it and make it even more awesome. And then the video showed how it evolved!

    Truly fun video, and your kids are really great inventors!!!

    1. That’s my deck, and yes the spiral slide is permanently affixed. It was easier and more fun than building real steps. Next up is the wire/rope monkey bridge from the deck to the second story of the playhouse…eventually when there’s time.

  10. I love Rube Goldberg-type stuff… and the fervently whispered “Please work… please work…” right at the start was endearing :)

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