2019 Annual Rube Goldberg Challenge


Contest Theme Einstein’s Theory of Relativity

Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, one of the leading institutes of science and engineering in the world, invites you to build your own Rube Goldberg Machine in honor of the Einstein’s Theory of Relativity.

“The present theory of relativity is based on a division of physical reality into a metric field (gravitation) on the one hand and into an electromagnetic field and matter on the other hand. In reality, space will probably be of a uniform character and the present theory will be valid only as a limiting case.” – Albert Einstein, 1945

About the Contest

Technion invites high school students (grade 9-12) from around the world, to the 4th Annual Rube Goldberg Machine contest, to create EINSTEIN’S THEORY OF RELATIVITY themed Rube Goldberg machine.

Students are to use out-of-the-box problem-solving skills and teamwork, to build a multi-step, chain reaction machine, and creatively incorporate Einstein’s theory of relativity themed elements into their machine. Did you know that in 1919, during a total solar eclipse, Sir Arthur Eddington performed the first experimental test of Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity? The findings made Einstein a celebrity overnight and precipitated the eventual triumph of general relativity over classical Newtonian physics.

Einstein’s theory marks an important milestone in the history of physics and that is why we chose it as the theme for our 2019 Annual Rube Goldberg Challenge.

Registration deadline: February 1st, 2019
Deadline to submit the video: May 15, 2019

A panel of judges representing the Technion will select the winners based on their creative rendition of  “Einstein’s Theory of Relativity” themes as a Rube Goldberg Machine. Winners will be selected using the judging criteria included below.

Recognition and Prizes

Winning schools will be awarded the following prizes:

First place prize – One-year full scholarship for the winning team towards first year studying at the Technion. *

* Students must be accepted to the program.

*The scholarship can be used either during the student’ first or second academic year at the Technion.

**Students who have won a scholarship previously may compete again but will not be eligible to receive a second scholarship.

***Can NOT be used in conjunction with other Technion International scholarships or discounts

Second place prize – A 3D printer for the winning school

Third place prize – An Arduino set

Winning videos will be shared on Technion’s social media.

Watch tips on building a Rube Goldberg Machine by Prof. Alon Wolf from the faculty of Mechanical Engineering.

Rules and Guidelines:


A team consists of 3 to 10 students enrolled in the same day school.  Students can be in different grades, however, the team must be all high school students (grades 9-12).  A teacher can serve as an advisor to the project, but all decision making and the building should be done by the students.  Students can either work on the machine at school or at home.

Machine goal

The final step of the machine must reveal a theme dealing with  Einstein’s Theory of Relativity.  Here is an explanation of the key terms:

Mechanical: The machine is a Rube Goldberg Machine and should be composed of every-day, recyclable materials.

 Einstein’s Theory of Relativity: The concept of this machine is related to Einstein’s Theory of Relativity. Anything to do with Einstein’s Theory of Relativity’s inventions, history and contribution to the world. Creativity is important!

Minimum/Maximum Steps and Einstein’s Theory of Relativity Elements

Steps: 10-50
Einstein’s Theory of Relativity Items: 3-20


STEP: A transfer of energy from one action to the next action. Identical transfers of energy in succession (e.g. 20 dominoes) are considered one step.

Examples of Steps:

  • Falling dominoes hit a marble
  • The marble rolls down track triggering a mousetrap at the bottom.
  • Mousetrap snaps and pulls a string tied to it

INTERVENTION:  Any action/touch done by a person to help the machine continue to operate after the machine has begun its run.

For rules and regulations, click here.

For more information, email us at apply@int.technion.ac.il

Registration deadline: February 1st, 2019

Registration for Technion School Challenge