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Introducing the Unreal Engine Learning Kit: The Rube Goldberg Kitchen!

When it comes to Rube Goldberg machines, the wilder and wackier, the better.

The machines are named after American cartoonist Rube Goldberg, whose cartoons often depicted comically over-complicated contraptions built to carry out simple tasks through a convoluted series of chain reactions. Perhaps the most well-known example is the board game Mouse Trap.

Known under various names around the world, Rube Goldberg machines are used extensively in the STEM education space, often in the form of a contest where teams compete to build the most impressive machine.

With the introduction of our new Unreal Learning Kit: Rube Goldberg Machines, students can now build virtual contraptions in Unreal Engine, with the tools developers use to make games like Fortnite.

The new Unreal Learning Kit: Rube Goldberg Machines is the latest in a series of Unreal Learning Kit activities, which aims to give educators everything they need to incorporate game development into their curriculum. The idea is to give students all the tools they need to build projects in Unreal Engine. Previous updates have focused on demonstrating the game development pipeline, and explaining how to build physics-based robots within Epic’s real-time engine.

"Rube Goldberg machines are all about process, cause and effect, and chain reaction,” says Jennifer George, Chief Creative Officer at the Rube Goldberg Institute and the granddaughter of Rube Goldberg himself. “Coding is the same. One thing leads to another and often it requires imagination and complex routing in order to accomplish a simple goal. Unreal Engine’s Rube Goldberg Learning Kit uses graphic animation and the simulation of real physics as the basis for teaching kids about coding. And because it's Rube, there's a hefty dose of humor in the mix too!”

For the Rube Goldberg kit, we are introducing a series of six lessons that educators can start working through today using Unreal Engine. To get involved, you can download the new teacher and student guides from the Unreal Marketplace.