Middle School and UAF Engineering students collaborate on Rube Goldberg Machine

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska - Middle school students from across the school district gathered together and combined resources with the University of Alaska Fairbanks Engineering department to create one large Rube Goldberg machine on the UAF campus. The middle school students each started their boards in their own classrooms and then pieced them together at the university. The project had rules the students had to follow. "They all have the same constraints, they start with a can of soda at four foot and they end with knocking over a soda can at four foot," said UAF Engineering student, Delaney Hendrickson.

University students not only helped the middle schoolers with their projects but created their own. "It's part of their annual ELP program that they do, and so they are putting them all together so at the end we can set off a paint cannon, and ours is the last one which is going to be doing that and the theme is launch your future," Hendrickson said.

Andie Rice, a Ben Eielson Jr. High teacher involved with the Extended Learning Project says her students are learning more than just the curriculum they are tying in. "One of the key things they've learned is cooperation and helping each other and brainstorming ideas and not giving up if something's not working and looking for an alternative," Rice said. The Rube Goldberg Extended Learning Project allows the middle school and Engineering students to work through frustration to become inspired by the outcome.