Rules and Regulations


About the Contest

The Technion invites teams of high school (9-12) students from schools around the world to create Earth Day themed Rube Goldberg machines.  This challenge will encourage students to use out-of-the-box problem solving and teamwork to build a multi-step, chain reaction machine, and creatively incorporate Earth themed elements and texts into their entry.  The deadline for entries is March 15, 2017.

Deadline for registration is February 1, 2017.


A panel of judges representing the Technion will select winning videos in each division (high school).  Winners will be selected using the judging criteria included below.

Recognition and Prizes

Winning videos will be shared on the Technion’s social media.  Winning schools will be awarded the following prizes:

First place prize – one year full scholarship towards studying at the Technion.

Second place prize – 3D printer for the winning High School

Third prize – Arduino set for the winning High School

Most Popular Clip

Most popular videos will also win a prize. Videos will be posted on our social media.

Prize for most popular video *One-year full scholarship for the winning team towards studying at the Technion.

*Students must be accepted.

Rules and Guidelines:


A team consists of at least three students enrolled in the same 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 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 of Earth Day.  Here is an explanation of the key terms:

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

Environmental: The concept of this machine is Earth related. Anything to do with nature, recycling, and other themes of Earth Day.

Minimum/Maximum Steps and Earth Day Elements

Steps: 10-50
Earth Day elements: 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
  • 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.

EARTH DAY ELEMENTS:  Any element that is connected to Earth Day. E.g. planting trees, recycling, cleaning our planet, clean energy, etc. Earth Day elements may be a part of the machine, or a decoration not directly connected to the machine that appears in the video.  In addition to these elements, the judges will also be looking for creative inclusion of into the machine and video.  See the resources section for guidance.

Each team must submit:

  1. Team information form (Form can be downloaded from the Technion International website).

2. Machine run video: The video must show the machine run in its entirety.  The video can be taken in multiple shots and edited.  If the video is edited, a teacher or administrator must sign a statement on the team information form that attests that the machine worked without any human intervention at least once.

  • Maximum length: 2 minutes
  • If the video includes music, the music must be  legal for use

3. Step List

    1. The step list should include each energy transfer step, numbered in order.


        1. Mousetrap snaps and pulls a string tied to it
        2. String pulls open a gate
        3. Opening of the gate releases a toy car down a ramp
  1. The step list should be in a word doc or pdf file

4. Earth Day element List

    1. The Earth Day element list should include each Earth Day item included as part of the machine, numbered in order of appearance in the video.


  1. Wind Power
  2. Solar Energy
  3. Hydropower
  4. Biofuels
  5. Water Recycling
  6. Planting trees
  7. And more
  8. The elements list should be in a word doc or pdf file

Judging Criteria: 100 points possible

Machine Design

Complexity (25 points possible): How many steps does the machine include?

10-20: 10 points

21-30: 15 points

31-40: 20 points

41-50: 25 points

Theme (25 points possible): How many Earth Day elements does the machine include?

1-5: 5 points

6-10: 10 points

11-15: 15 points

16-20: 20 points

20-25: 25 points

Constructions and Artistry (20 points possible): How well constructed and artistic is the machine?  Does the machine include different types of energy transfers? (Examples: kinetic energy, gravitational energy, electrical energy, magnetic energy, etc.)

Step List (15 points possible)

How clearly is each step of the machine described?

Earth Day elements List (15 points possible)

How many Earth Day elements used and how clearly is each Earth Day element described?


 Helpful websites and videos:

Suggested Materials:

  •    Aluminum foil
  •   Plastic containers
  •   Cardboard
  •   Water bottles
  •   Toilet paper or paper towel tubes
  •   Dominoes
  •   Funnels
  •   Marbles
  •   Toy cars
  •   String
  •  News paper
  •  Buckets
  • Cups or bowls
  •  Books
  •  Rubber bands
  •  Pipe cleaners
  •  Slinky
  •  Balloons
  •  Modeling clay
  •  Straws
  •  Plastic cups
  • Tongue depressors
  • Paper tubes
  • Boxes (cereal, other)
  • Cans
  • Balls (ping pong, golf, etc.)
  • Shoelaces
  • Game pieces
  • Wooden train track
  • Wooden trains
  • Marble run tracks
  • Popsicle sticks
  • Wax paper
  • Wooden blocks
  • Pull back toys
  • Walking toys

Click here to watch an example clip of an Earth Day machine created by Technion students, as well as message from the President!

Click here to watch tips on building a Rube Goldberg Machine by Prof. Alon Wolf from the faculty of Mechanical Engineering.