Rules and Regulations

About the Contest

The Technion invites teams of high school (grades 9-12) students from schools around the world to create 100th anniversary of the Confirmation of Einstein’s Theory of Relativity 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 Einstein’s Theory of Relativity themed elements and texts into their entry.  The deadline for submissions is May 15, 2019.


A panel of judges representing the Technion will select winning videos in each division (high school).  Students who have won previously may compete again but will not be eligible to receive a prize. 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

*Students must be accepted to the program.

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

Rules and Guidelines:


A team consists of 3 to 10 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 100th anniversary of the Confirmation of 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 and 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 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.

EINSTEIN’S THEORY OF RELATIVITY THEMES:  Any element that is connected to Einstein’s Theory of Relativity. E.g. science, innovation, history, and declaration of independence. Einstein’s Theory of Relativity 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 (will be sent to all registered groups).

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.

Handing in the material

All materials will be handed in via DropBox. A link will be sent to all the registered groups. The groups will drag all files (video, forms, lists) into the DropBox by the deadline – May 15, 2019.

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 Einstein’s Theory of Relativity items 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?

Einstein’s Theory of Relativity elements List (15 points possible)

How many Einstein’s Theory of Relativity elements used and how clearly is each 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
  •  Newspaper
  •  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 Einstein’s Theory of Relativity themed machine created by Technion students, as well as a 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.