Theory Play Share & Discuss

Lesson Preview

Teach Building Machines
with Contraption Maker

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Contraption Maker

Learn to construct incredible Rube Goldberg machines with Contraption Maker! Learn engineering and science with the game!

Teacher Resources

  • Theory: This lesson introduces your students to the Contraption Maker game, and the following lessons focus on engineering and science concepts.
  • **Play: The students play as many tutorial levels in the game as they have time for.
  • Share & Discuss: These tasks focus on the playing experience.

Note: The next slide provides an example of Rube Goldberg machines. Essentially they are complex, humorous devices made intentionally complex to complete insignificantly simple tasks (such as pressing a button or somesuch).

Rube Goldberg Machine

Rube Goldberg machine.

Teacher Resources

In this example, this convoluted machine (a Rube Goldberg machine) has been constructed for the sheer joy of such complexity.

Image Source: More than One Way to Hammer a Nail, Wikimedia Commons.


Starting the Game

To access today’s puzzles:

  1. Click on “Puzzles”
  2. Click on “Tutorial Puzzles” (It’s the first choice available)
  3. Begin with number 1 and play for as long as there’s time.

Teacher Resources

Remember, the students will not run out of puzzles! Be sure to tell them how much time they have for playing. It’s a good idea to reserve the last five minutes of the lesson for the next, final slide (Share & Discuss). Remember also to help students that may be having trouble.

How to Play

To start playing, click on Puzzles.

Gameplay screenshot

Next, select the puzzle pack you'd like to play. It's a good idea to begin with the first one, Tutorial Puzzles.

Gameplay screenshot

Finally, select the puzzle you would like to play.

Gameplay screenshot

Lesson Goal

Learn to play Contraption Maker! Play through the Tutorial Puzzles 1-12 (Welcome to Contraption Maker - Buckets).

If you finish all the above puzzles and have time, you can play the Easy Does It puzzles.

Teacher Resources

This lesson focuses on the students learning how to play Contraption Maker. Later lessons introduce scientific concepts such as gravity, Newtonian forces and aerodynamics and so on.

NOTE: It’s a good idea to tell the students that you can read what each part in the game does by selecting it and clicking on the ? symbol. This will display a text box that explains how the part works.

Share & Discuss

Share & Discuss

  • Did you have trouble with any puzzle? Do you want to know how it is solved?
  • How far ahead did you get? What was your favorite puzzle?
  • Do you think it would possible to construct these contraptions in real life? Why? Why not?
  • If you could build your own contraption, what would it be like?

Teacher Resources

This slide helps the students share their experiences with the game, and lets you know if some of them had trouble playing. The next lesson will take a closer look at gravity and have the students continue playing.