Crazy Contraptions Activity

This activity is not for sale, it has been replaced by the updated version: Crazy Contraptions 2.0. You can still complete this version of the activity with Bulk Components or a Maker Cart.

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What kind of contraption will you build? “Crazy Contraptions” is a thought provoking activity that engages students in the design and construction of exciting and innovative Rube Goldberg style mechanisms. The comprehensive Crazy Contraptions Activity Guide facilitates the conceptualization, understanding and application of simple and complex machines. Utilize the template for a standard frame on chipboard or another surface, or set your contraption on a 12"x12" wood base with drilled slots, perfect for connector strips. You can purchase the Crazy Contraptions Base from TeacherGeek or make the base using this template.

Completing the

Crazy Contraptions Activity

(Ages 10 and Up)

When working with kids on this activity, start with the Build Guide. As you proceed through the Build guide, document your process in the Student Portfolio.

     Build Guide     

This guide will take you through the process of creating a crazy contraption, but the final innovation is all yours!

  • Crazy Contraption Build Guide: PDF

     Student Portfolio     

Throughout the process you will build a portfolio, documenting how you created your Contraption.

  • Student Portfolio: PDF

     Resources for Educators     

  • Crazy Contraptions PowerPoint: Download the PowerPoint Presentation--This is a resource for educators that outlines the benefits of crazy contraptions. Also providing examples of mechanisms for educational use.
  • TeacherGeek Quick Start Guide (Easy Engineering Guide): Download the Guide-- This resource covers how to use TeacherGeek parts and tools.

On the Web...

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TeacherGeek Tools You'll Need

 What tools will you need to do this activity?


Process Description

Recommended Tool 

Alternate Tool


Cutting dowels, strips, recycling bin items, etc.


Saw, Pruning Shears


Change splined holes in components from press fit (dowels press and stay) to loose fit (dowels are able to slide and rotate).


#3 Drill Bit and Drill


Tighten and loosen screws



Holding and Pulling

Hold nuts, pull apart components



Sets of tools can be found here.

Make your crazy contraption even better by incorporating recycling bin material.


Crazy Contraptions Components

What's inside Crazy Contraptions Activity Pack?

Component: 10 Pk Quantity:
Connector Strips 160
Marbles 11
70mm Pulleys 10
55.5mm Pulleys 10
25.5mm Pulleys 10
9mm Pulleys 10
50 Tooth Gears 10
40 Tooth Gears 10
20 Tooth Gears 10
10 Tooth Gears 10
Toy Cars 10
Portion Cups 20
Chipboard Sheets 50
Wire Rolls 4
Slide-Stop  5
Perpendicular Blocks 100
Dowels 100
Basswood Strips 20
Angle Brackets 40
1” Screws 200
Hex Nuts 200
Rubber Bands 50
Stop Clips 60


This is an educational product and not a toy. It is intended for use by ages 9 and above with adult supervision.

Science, Math & Engineering Standards

TeacherGeek products fit proposals, grants or lesson plans with ease! Explore more resources below:

Next Generation Science Standards
NGSS Standards Download - PDF
NGSS Standards Spreadsheet - Editable /Searchable Excel Sheet

International Technology & Engineering Educators' Association Standards
ITEEA Standards Download - PDF
ITEEA Standards Spreadsheet - Editable/Searchable Excel Sheet