Catawba County News

STEAM: Goldberg Chain Reactions

STEAM: Goldberg Chain Reactions

Published: March 20, 2019

Do you know who Rube Goldberg was? If you’ve ever seen those elaborate set-ups that begin with a marble sliding down a groove and triggering a series of objects that move, shift, or pivot to keep the sequence going, then you know what Rube was famous for.

As a cartoonist who illustrated incredibly complex machines that end up carrying out simple tasks, he also gained the title of ‘father of invention.’ In essence, he created extended chain reactions that intentionally take a lot of time, energy, and engineering to accomplish a basic action. The novelty of the machines and the effort involved in getting them to work flawlessly have mesmerized popular culture for many decades now.

At the Library program, students are invited to spend an afternoon of discovery in honor of Rube Goldberg. They’ll learn about the man behind the machines and then roll up their sleeves and tackle the six simple concepts that he used in his inventions. With all the sequencing and spatial reasoning involved, participants will certainly get a strong dose of STEAM action!

The afternoon session is ideal for homeschooled students but is open to everyone. It takes place at 2 pm on Wednesday, March 27 at the Southwest Branch Library.