There are low-cost, simple ideas for STEAM activities that might add a very nice touch to your programs in American Spaces. A clear example is building a Rube Goldberg machine - a contraption, invention, device that is deliberately over-engineered to perform a simple task in a complicated fashion. When kids start making a chain reaction with access to materials and tools like a hot glue gun, soldering iron, and Strawbees, they feel the thrill of making something, work collaboratively, and exercise logical reasoning. This engaging activity could be a great hands 0n component for a program on invention and innovation for varied age levels. Participants generally love including a chain reaction and learn about the American cartoonist and inventor Rube Goldberg (1883–1970).
For this activity, we used adapted material from the Smithsonian Institution to boost participation and engagement.