According to the English WikiPedia: "A Rube Goldberg machine is a contraption, invention, device or apparatus that is deliberately over-engineered or overdone to perform a very simple task in a very complicated fashion, usually including a chain reaction."
Here are items on our "Rube Goldberg wish list." If you have these items laying around in your garage AND your parents don't want them / say it's OK to donate them to school, we'd love to have them:
These are clever video examples of Rube Goldberg Projects.
"RubeGoldberg Goes Digital with Scratch" (mp4 video on DropBox) via Tinkering Strand - New Media: Creativity & Innovation 2014
OK Go - This Too Shall Pass - Rube Goldberg Machine - Official Video
Check out more examples of Rube Goldberg Projects in this YouTube playlist. This July 2013 article from Mashable also includes some amazing Rube Goldberg project videos.
These are some of the Rube Goldberg Project experiments our students have created! These are available (with more coming soon) in a YouTube playlist.