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Invention Convention

 


Who Was Rube Goldberg?

The Grasshopper Catcher, developed around 1870, was a creative invention. It was designed to solve a very difficult problem faced by early Iowa settlers-too many grasshoppers! The unknown inventor combined available materials to make a clever machine. It didn't work very well, but the inventor used his or her imagination in creative ways.

Many new machines were being developed at this time. Some of these inventions were more successful than others.

Rube Goldberg (1883-1970) was an unusual inventor. He believed there were two ways to do things, the simple way and the hard way. He observed that a lot of people preferred doing things the hard way!

As a young man he went to school to become an engineer, but what he really loved was drawing cartoons. He combined both of these talents when he became famous for his weird and interesting cartoon inventions.

One of his inventions was designed to "simplify" the job of sharpening a pencil. Another of his inventions helped clean shop windows.

Directions

  1. Explore the Rube Goldberg Gallery and check out some of the invention resources online.
  2. Identify one of your jobs at home or in the classroom.
  3. Create a "Rube Goldberg" to make this job more "simple."
  4. Draw your invention on a piece of paper. Make sure to number or letter the parts.
  5. Develop a paragraph description for your invention. Refer to the labeled parts when describing how your machine works.
  6. Share your invention with your teacher and classmates at a Rube Goldberg Invention Convention.

 

 
   
  For Students:
Introduction Quick Facts Pioneer Homes
Scavenger Hunt Life as a Pioneer History Detective
Mystery Photo Pioneer Library
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