Curious machines for the exploration of Curiosity

By Nic LazThursday, Aug 01, 2019


Seeking to investigate the most Curious of us discovering something new, researchers tested children playing together in completing a complicated task. They gathered audio and video data from the interactions of 44 children (10-12 years old) in small groups and analysed it to “to identify how differences in social dynamics affect the curiosity in interactions between children”. The most Curious thing about this study is that to test this they asked the children to collaboratively build Rube Goldberg Machines.


Children were selected because “In spite of its critical link with learning, curiosity is often found to decrease with age and schooling, partially because of prevalence of test-oriented education strategies that follow from educational policies.” This is why we are a society for the Curious, TENCLUB seeks to foster and support your inner-child’s intuitive explorations.


Creating Rube Goldberg Machines are by design Curious explorations and they are used not only in classrooms – here is a video of the ‘world record’ largest machine that was made to turn on a Christmas tree in Riga last year – Sit back and enjoy these Curious 5 minutes :


In their study the researchers found that social dynamics have an impact on the way that a person engages in a Curious exploration (like the building of these machines) and that the results create a foundation for “developing curiosity-increasing learning technologies or even assisting a human coach to induce curiosity among learners.”


We at TENCLUB are excited to see what comes out of this team of scientists in the coming years – as their work will not only demonstrate the usefulness of considering Curiosity within education and schooling, but also in better ways for us to interact with technology and each other. For now we shall endeavour to foster curiosity through our Clusters of Fascination.



Have you ever built a Rube Goldberg Machine?



Share the story with us by writing a post for our Personal Curiosity blog !



Link to the full research paper by the team at Carnegie Mellon University: