Cardboard Contraptions: Drawing Machines: The Art of Rube Goldberg


Through the Cardboard Contraptions: Drawing Machines: The Art of Rube Goldberg museum workshop and tour will learn about Rube Goldberg, his artwork, his history as an engineer and learn the six simple machines through a student-driven, hands-on group making project.

Students will be guided through The Art of Rube Goldberg exhibition where they will experience original works of art, preparatory drawings, video and related ephemera that chronicles the development of Goldberg's art work. They will see the Rube Goldberg's trademark comedic contraptions both as original illustrations and as kinetic moving sculpture. The exhibition also prominently features Goldberg’s crowning artistic achievement: his invention drawings. This exhibition explores how Goldberg’s zany contraptions caught the popular imagination and became—as he put it—“a symbol of man’s capacity for exerting maximum effort to achieve minimal results,” while making him a cultural icon.

In the included 1 hour workshop, students will be challenged to use the Six Simple Machines (Pulley, Lever, Inclined Plane, Wedge, Screw, Wheel, and Axel) to craft a Drawing Machine contraption from reclaimed materials.

This workshop is for grades 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th grade

Limited availability.

Offered At

The Queens Museum

The Queens Museum is a contemporary art museum located in Flushing Meadows Park. The most prominent piece in their collection is the Panorama of the City of New York. "This 9,335 square foot architectural model features 895,000 buildings in all five boroughs. Through guided museum experiences, gallery activities and studio workshops students engage in the panorama as a jumping off point to explore New York’s geography, landmarks, bridges, parks, communities, history, and city planning." Additional programs include an in depth study of the city's watershed, explorations of Tiffany lamps through the Neustadt Collecton of Tiffany Glass, and a rotating selection of international contemporary works in the museums art galleries.



Engineering, Design Thinking, Art, Visual Arts


30 students, 1 chaperone per 10 students


120 min.


Field Trip


3-5, 6-8

Price Options

$225.00 per Group for Private School

$200.00 per Group for Public School

$175.00 per Group for Title I School