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How to Make a Rube Goldberg Machine

SAFETY FIRST: Ask an adult to help with tools you haven't used before.

A Rube Goldberg machine is any complex contraption that uses a chain reaction to perform a simple task.


Step 1: Start at the End

Identify the simple task you want to achieve. You could turn off a light, open a door, pour a bowl of cereal, turn off an alarm clock, hammer a nail or pop a balloon. Be creative — and unique.

Step 2: Make a Plan

Brainstorm a series of actions that will complete your task. Make a pin pop a balloon. Send a toy car down a ramp. Make dominoes fall. Draw a blueprint plan for what you expect to happen. The most important action will be the first step — that’s what starts the entire machine. Make sure your machine starts with a bang!

Step 3: Gather Your Materials

You can use almost anything to create your Rube Goldberg machine. Here are some ideas: dominoes, fans, PVC pipe, magnets, duct tape, marbles, cups or bowls, miniature toy cars, paper towel tubes, string.

Step 4: Build and Test

As you create your machine, follow your blueprint and place your materials where you think they need to be. Practice makes perfect, so don’t expect your Rube Goldberg machine to work perfectly the first time you try it. There will be plenty of trial and error — and that’s OK. Adjust your materials and keep at it.


Here are videos of 10 working Rube Goldberg machines. If you make one of your own, use the form below to send us photos.

Submit a Photo of Your Project

Important Note: Please only upload photos of your project. Because of privacy rules, we can't post any photos that show people's faces. Always ask for your parent's permission before uploading anything to a website.

60 Comments on How to Make a Rube Goldberg Machine

  1. I lov e this .

  2. I think this is cool but it doesnt really help me with the machine im trying to make for school

  3. ✨Amelie✨ // October 16, 2022 at 4:44 am // Reply

    The machines were cool but it would’ve been better if the creators actually told us how to make them.

  4. Bad bad bad // August 15, 2022 at 9:41 pm // Reply

    This doesn’t help it doesn’t tell you it dose nothing

  5. amazing!!!!!!!

  6. i think this is really good

  7. cool

  8. I love the idea, soon im going to make one of my own!

  9. It hit my thinking hard

  10. Not giving u my nickname // December 7, 2020 at 8:05 am // Reply

    I only used 2 items cause its easy to open doors.

  11. i loved this projekt

  12. this is awsome i really like this.

  13. cool


  15. I like the harlem globetrotters one

  16. I think its nice

  17. Cool

  18. this is awesome

  19. I need help // August 23, 2020 at 7:54 pm // Reply

    am I the only one that needs lots of help on this (its for school)


  21. wowww these are awesome!

  22. Cool

  23. ILOVESCHOOL // June 2, 2020 at 6:49 pm // Reply

    Thank you!

  24. no i does not help me at all it does not even explain what the machine is

  25. SCIENCE MASTER // May 4, 2020 at 9:30 pm // Reply

    Dude that literally amazed me!

  26. dis is really cool

  27. blah blah blah // May 1, 2020 at 11:31 am // Reply


  28. Mr. Lakeworth // April 29, 2020 at 8:40 am // Reply

    Wow I’m impressed with some of these! Keep up the good work kids.

  29. Why is this only directed towards boys? Anyone regardless can build a Rube Goldberg machine

  30. Monkey Face // April 24, 2020 at 11:12 am // Reply

    This is super cool

  31. do you need lots of balls or marbles?

  32. Gotabeties // April 4, 2020 at 6:05 am // Reply


  33. These are cool👍

  34. i think this great. problem is they wernt explaning theyr ideas to us and not really telling us hw they constructed it

  35. I think this manufacturer or machine never really fantastic that kind of cool.

  36. I think it was cool of learning this machine I’m excited that just kind of fantastic.

  37. cool

  38. They are good but I still don’t get it he does not even really explain it

  39. It is cool

  40. this is bad

  41. Dude perfect!

  42. spike dude // July 15, 2019 at 5:22 pm // Reply

    nice ideas!!!!

  43. Its me isaac…

  44. this is awesome!!!

  45. awesome!

  46. GILthechamp123 // May 4, 2018 at 3:58 pm // Reply

    I really liked this. It gave me an idea of making my own. If I do make some I will keep you posted.

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