Archive for the ‘Physical Science’ Category


Rube Goldberg was a cartoonist famous for creating diagrams that showed an extremely complicated, complex way to accomplish simple, ordinary tasks.


Clip art courtesy of Rube Goldberg Gallery.


You will be designing and building a working Rube Goldberg machine, a very complicated machine to perform a simple everyday task. You will keep a journal of your progress in your ePortfolio. Today’s task is the research step of the Rube Goldberg assignment.


  1. Open up your blog and add a new post titled “Rube Goldberg and Simple Machines”.
  2. Review sample Rube Goldberg cartoons at the Official Rube Goldberg site and the Rube Goldberg Gallery.  Find out who Rube Goldberg was and how he constructed his inventions. Write a paragraph telling about Rube Goldberg.  Include a picture of either Mr. Goldberg or one of his drawings or inventions. Cite the source of the picture.
  3. Create a heading in the body of the post titled “Journal Entry: Energy Transfer and Simple Machine Learning”.
  4. Locate definitions for each of the 6 simple machines.  Write an explanation about each of the simple machines in your own words.  The six simple machine definitions may be a bulleted list.
  5. For each simple machine, provide instruction for calculation of mechanical advantage.
  6. For each simple machine, upload a picture depicting the simple machine.
  7. Write a brief description of types of energy and how energy changes.


The following sites are to be used for reviewing information about simple machines and mechanical advantage. These sites also have good pictures to download. Do not plagiarize text and remember to cite the source of pictures.


You will be evaluated on how well you complete this task.  Your ePortfolio needs to include:

  • A paragraph about Rube Goldberg.
  • A list of simple machines and how they work, mechanical advantages, and pictures.
  • A list of energy types and transfer mechanisms


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Students in my classes are required to keep an ePortfolio and to blog their work.  This post provides background and guidelines for the blogging portion of student work. A blog isn’t about being a blog, rather it renders itself as a tool for communicating results, such as:

  • Responding to and commenting on curriculum topics as we study them
  • Creating written projects/ media projects and commenting on each other’s work
  • Reflecting on coursework and individual learning
  • Reviewing and sharing study strategies before tests and quizzes
  • Practicing taking varied points of view on a topic
  • Discussing current events
  • Making classroom suggestions
  • Creating FAQ pages on curriculum topics

Class blogs are subject to the following rules, which you must agree to:

  • I will not use any curse words or inappropriate language.
  • I will not use fighting words or provoke anyone.
  • I will avoid the use of chat language.
  • I will try to spell everything correctly.
  • I will only give constructive criticism.
  • I will not use my full name, or the name of my classmates.
  • I will not plagiarize.

Please note that all posts and comments are moderated for content before being published.

Consequences of Violating the Agreement

I recognize that breaking any of these rules could lead to any of the following consequences depending on severity and repetition:

  • warning
  • deletion of some or all of the post
  • temporary loss of blogging privileges
  • permanent loss of blogging privileges
  • referral to the school administration

Assessment Rubric for Blog Posts

Category 3 2 1
Content: Topic Specific topics will vary by assignment but must be related to science. Topic is related to school, but not necessarily science. Topic does not relate to science or school.
Content: Body Post includes a 1-2 paragraphs. Post is less than 1-2 paragraphs. Post does not include a summary, but includes a URL to an article.
Sources Blog post includes a hyperlinked references to additional clarifying information. Blog post includes a URL to additional information, no hyperlinks. References  are missing.
Images  Post includes an image with a caption and is hyperlinked to its original source. Post includes the URL for at least 1 image Post does not include an image.
Questions Post includes 2-3 (science-based) questions in your post. Post does not include questions.
Tags or Labels Post includes 2-3 labels or tags. Post is unlabeled and untagged.

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