Our 8th grade team is creating a wiki for our Rube Goldberg projects. I was wondering if there are any tools out there that will allow students to create/draw their projects online and put them into action? Right now we are having them draw the projects by hand, but would love to find a way to make them interactive on the wiki. Any suggestions?

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I do Rube Goldberg in my Freshman Physical Science Class. I give my students the option of buillding a machine and bringing it to class, videotaping their machine if it's too big to bring to class or using Powerpoint to present their projects. I have been amazed by their projects and the Powerpoint projects are pretty awesome.
Maybe Powerpoint would work for you to make them interactive
We just finished a unit on the inventive process and started off with Rube Goldergs. The contraptions weren't animated but the kids built them out of junk and they loved it! You can see the videos on our Rube Golberg page.

Also see links to some other wonderful contraptions.
aww the videos are neat! Power point could be another route to take that would be interesting. I am going to have the students actually build the Rubes also and we are going to demonstrate them all on the same day. I just was wanting to possibly have the students create a page on a wikispace and illustrate/animate their plans. Google Sketch has been recommended to me, so I may check that out.

Thanks for your input! =)
This is an offline rather than online solution, but sketchup now has a physics plugin that lets you make machines and contraptions. Check out some of these videos. Also, it is all free.

Oh wow I will have to check this out more when I have time... looks pretty cool! Thanks! =)
Sure. Also, the popular FPS game Half-Life 2 has an addon called Gary's Mod. It is a sandbox of sorts that lets you run simulations. With this folks have made some pretty . . . explosive Rube goldberg machines.


You should have no trouble convincing any sysadmin that you need a lab full of half-life clients. Science should have more zombies, anyways.



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