Friday, October 24, 2014

Rube Goldberg Project

Mrs. Dawson's ALS Rube Goldberg project has to be one of the most comprehensive projects we have witnessed here at NSE. On the second day of school, Mrs. Dawson challenged her students to design and build a Rube Goldberg contraption that would accomplish pouring a bucket of cold water on me, the principal. I can remember the first conversations and drawings that actually involved a bowling ball and kites. Thankfully, the final product did not include a bowling ball being dropped.
Today, Mrs. Dawson's class put their design to the test. I came prepared for the event, but probably not adequately enough.

This project (check it out below at  the "show.") set the stage for Mrs. Dawson's class and those (students included) who were entertained by its success for the remainder of the year. There are so many skills and concepts that can be taught from such a project. I am sure that mini-lessons had to be taught to accomplish the goal. Collaboration, communication, and creativity had to be at the forefront of the conversation. Accurate measurement, cause and effect, gravity, trial and error, simple machines, etc... are just a few of the skills and concepts I can imagine were discussed and learned.

The level of engagement throughout the process was incredible. Parents and grandparents were telling me stories about how their child or grandchild was involved in the design and building of the contraption. Students, teachers, parents, grandparents, community members, the principal of Summit Parkway Middle School and his SIDI lead teacher, a former USC PDS liaison, and others came out to see the "show."

NSE now challenges the Summit Parkway to accomplish the same challenge in a bigger and better way to soak Mr. Andrew Barbone!
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