Simulations of Carnival Rides and Rube Goldberg Machines for the Visualization of Concepts of Statics and Dynamics


  • William Howard East Carolina University
  • Richard Williams East Carolina University
  • Jason Yao East Carolina University


Solid modeling is widely used as a teaching tool in summer activities with high school students.  The addition of motion analysis allows concepts from statics and dynamics to be introduced to students in both qualitative and quantitative ways.  Two sets of solid modeling projects – carnival rides and Rube Goldberg machines – are shown to allow the students creative freedom while challenging them to understand the physics of the simulated motion.  Possible benefits of including similar motion simulations into engineering classes as exercises or in-class demonstrations are discussed.



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