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Since 1988, tens of thousands of students have competed in our annual Rube Goldberg Machine Contests® where they are challenged to build the wackiest, working Rube Goldberg Machine that completes a common task. 

In the structured environment of our competitions, these contraptions are more than just Rube Goldberg Machines. They inspire communication, problem-solving and teamwork. They hone skills like math, physics and chemistry. On a formal basis, this learning experience falls under the umbrella of STEM/STEAM (Science, Technology Engineering, Art and Math) education – but what separates a Rube Goldberg Machine Contest from other chain reaction competitions is artistry, storytelling, and a sense of humor. After all, Rube was trained as an engineer, but as a Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist, he spent most of his life trying to make people laugh.

What is a Rube Goldberg Machine?

A Rube Goldberg Machine (RGM) is a crazy contraption which accomplishes a simple task in the most complicated and funniest way possible! Based on the "invention" cartoons of the famous, Pulitzer Prize-Winning Cartoonist, Rube Goldberg. His drawings and imagined machines are at the heart of the Rube Goldberg Machine Contest. They use everyday items (mostly junk!), they tell a story, and most important of all – they make you laugh!

What is a Rube Goldberg Machine Contest?

A Rube Goldberg Machine Contest (RGMC) is an event where students of all ages compete with machines that they have imagined, designed and created in a fun and competitive forum. The competitions encourage teamwork and out-of-the-box problem solving, in a fresh learning environment and level playing field. All you need is a good Imagination and a pile of junk!

What is this year's task?

This year's task is to Turn off a Light! #RGMC2020 #TurnOffALight #RGMC💡





PLEASE NOTE: THIS IS A STUDENT COMPETITION 

  • Only students may build the machine.
  • Only students may set up the machine. 
  • Only students may touch the machine (e.g., do interventions,  fix the machine, etc.) during the competition.
  • People who are not on the team may help transport the machine. 
  • Safety is always the first priority. 
  • For scenarios that require building and lifting large pieces of a machine into place, or using tools that require adult assistance, adult help is acceptable.

 Click Here for More Contest FAQs!



rgmc logo 


What is a Rube Goldberg Machine?

A Rube Goldberg Machine (RGM) is a crazy contraption which accomplishes a simple task in the most complicated and funniest way possible! Based on the "invention" cartoons of the famous, Pulitzer Prize-Winning Cartoonist, Rube Goldberg. His drawings and imagined machines are at the heart of the Rube Goldberg Machine Contest. They use everyday items (mostly junk!), they tell a story, and most important of all – they make you laugh!

What is a Rube Goldberg Machine Contest?

A Rube Goldberg Machine Contest (RGMC) is an event where students of all ages compete with machines that they have imagined, designed and created in a fun and competitive forum. The competitions encourage teamwork and out-of-the-box problem solving, in a fresh learning environment and level playing field. All you need is a good Imagination and a pile of junk!

What is this year's task?

This year's task is to Turn off a Light! #RGMC2020 #TurnOffALight #RGMC💡


Live contests currently only take place in the US - if you're outside of the US and interested in competing with your school - click here to join in on the fun through our International Online Rube Goldberg Machine Contest!


HOSTING A RUBE GOLDBERG MACHINE CONTEST:

There is no fee to RGI to become a Host...but there are responsibilities in Hosting! Once you register as a Host, and your registration is approved and published, both the 2020 Host Manual and Scoring and Judging - you will be sent a link to a folder to download these along with other materials you will need.

The Host will have sole responsibility for organizing and running their competition in accordance with RGI rules. 

The key to a successful competition is communication with Team Leaders and RGI. 


HOW TO HOST A REGIONAL COMPETITION:

  1. Decide which Division(s) you will Host. There are 3 Rube Goldberg Machine Contest Divisions. You may Host more than 1 Division. 
  2. Any number of students can participate in designing and building. For LIVE regionals and Finals, we suggest a team limit of 14. • Only 14 (or fewer - see NOTE below) will be allowed to participate in LIVE contests. • Gifts, buttons and pins will be supplied for 14 Team members and 1 Team Leader.  NOTE: You may set a cap of 14 or under based on capacity, fire codes and expected attendance. Please notify us if you need additional accommodations, or restrictions. 
  3. When choosing a venue, determine how many total teams you can fit in your venue. Allow approximately 15’ x 15’ for each team. There will also be judges, refs and the public attending, so add space for that.
  4. There is no fee to become a Host
  5. All regional contests must run between October 1st, 2019 and March 7th, 2020.
  6. Once your registration is approved, teams will be able to register for your contest. 
  7. Order Regional Awards 30 days before your contest date.
  8. All Division Finals will be held over a the weekend of April 4th, 2020 at the Lawrenceburg Event Center, Lawrenceburg, IN. Details will follow in January 2020. Check our website and social media often for new and updated information and dates. 
  9. First place winners of DIVISION I and DIVISION II regionals and all 3 category winners of Apprentice regionals are eligible to compete in Finals.


TEAM COSTS AND REGISTRATION 

There are costs involved with competing in the Rube Goldberg Machine Contest. 

  1. Both Live and Online local/regional registration fees are $395.00 per team. Fees are payable directly to RGI.
  2. Hosts may underwrite a portion of, or all of, the $395./per team fee. Hosts may find sponsors to assist in lowering team fess by underwriting. Once your contest has completed, Hosts will be billed for the balance of the fee they are underwriting for each team.
  3. Any number of students can participate in designing and building. For LIVE regionals and Finals, we suggest a team limit of 14.
  4. RGI will provide each registered team with pins for 14 Team members and 1 Team Leader. 
  5. The Live Finals registration fee is $500.00 payable directly to RGI.
  6. For teams in the Live contest, in addition to registration fees, costs may include transportation of the machine and the team, food and overnight accommodations.
  7. Teams are encouraged to undertake community fund-raising efforts (i.e. local retailers or businesses, parent contributions, bake sales...)
  8. No refunds or credits will be given.


We are always available to answer questions at rube@rubegoldberg.com. And much more information can be found in our 2020 Rube Goldberg Machine Contest Host Manual. 


 PLEASE NOTE: THIS IS A STUDENT COMPETITION 

  • Only students may build the machine.
  • Only students may set up the machine. 
  • Only students may touch the machine (e.g., do interventions,  fix the machine, etc.) during the competition.
  • People who are not on the team may help transport the machine. 
  • Safety is always the first priority. 
  • For scenarios that require building and lifting large pieces of a machine into place, or using tools that require adult assistance, adult help is acceptable.

 Any non-team member assisting in set up of the machine - without prior permission from the Host - will cause the team to incur a 10 point penalty.

  Click Here for More Contest FAQs!


rgmc logo 

What is a Rube Goldberg Machine?

A Rube Goldberg Machine (RGM) is a crazy contraption which accomplishes a simple task in the most complicated and funniest way possible! Based on the "invention" cartoons of the famous, Pulitzer Prize-Winning Cartoonist, Rube Goldberg. His drawings and imagined machines are at the heart of the Rube Goldberg Machine Contest. They use everyday items (mostly junk!), they tell a story, and most important of all – they make you laugh!

What is a Rube Goldberg Machine Contest?

A Rube Goldberg Machine Contest (RGMC) is an event where students of all ages compete with machines that they have imagined, designed and created in a fun and competitive forum. The competitions encourage teamwork and out-of-the-box problem solving, in a fresh learning environment and level playing field. All you need is a good Imagination and a pile of junk!

What is this year's task?

This year's task is to Turn off a Light! #RGMC2020 #TurnOffALight #RGMC💡



LET'S GET STARTED! 

  • Inspire an adult (over 18 years of age) to be your Team Leader and register your Team. A teacher, a parent, a grandparent – can guide a Team to victory.
  • Then, grab your friends, family, scout or 4-H mates – any student in your Division age group -and start planning your award winning Rube Goldberg Machine based on our Rules and Specs! The fun starts there and just gets better!
  • Choose Live and compete with your peers and move on to Finals! Or choose Online and compete with teams all over the world.
  • Use the Guide to help you get there.


COST AND REGISTRATION 

  • There are costs involved with competing in the Rube Goldberg Machine Contest. 
  • Online Team registration fees are $395.00 per team. 
  • Teams are encouraged to undertake community fund-raising efforts (i.e. local retailers or  businesses, parent contributions, bake sales...). Please contact us if your school has special circumstances or requires any accommodations not listed in our Team or Host manual.
  • No refunds or credits will be given.


TEAM INFORMATION

  • All Teams must have a non-student Team Leader 18 years of age or older.
  • Each Team can have only ONE Team Leader. 
  • All emails, mailings and information will go to the Team Leader only. We apologize but we cannot release information directly to anyone who hasn't signed the consent and release agreement. 
  • Each Team must have at least 3 eligible members.  All team members must be students, all team members must be the correct age for their Division Once the Team Leader has registered their team, paid the fee and approved all qualified team members. NOTE: A team member must fall within the age range for their division by June 15th, 2020.
  • Team Gifts will be mailed to the Team Leader at the address provided during the registration process


PLEASE NOTE: THIS IS A STUDENT COMPETITION 

  • Only students may build the machine.
  • Only students may set up the machine. 
  • Only students may touch the machine (e.g., do interventions,  fix the machine, etc.) during the competition.
  • People who are not on the team may help transport the machine. 
  • Safety is always the first priority. 
  • For scenarios that require building and lifting large pieces of a machine into place, or using tools that require adult assistance, adult help is acceptable.

 Click Here for More Contest FAQs!

Rube Goldberg Machine Contest