Contest Theme Top 20 by 2020
Building a Bridge from the Past to the Future
Humankind has witnessed many impressive engineering breakthroughs throughout the 20th century. In fact, most would argue that the past century has been one of the most remarkable in human history, boasting a host of technological advances, gadgets, and scientific discoveries. From the vacuum cleaner to the nuclear bomb, these feats of engineering have laid the foundation for the modern era.
The 5th annual Rube Goldberg challenge is a homage to the significant technological inventions of the past century.
On the verge of a new era, marked by the year 2020, we invite you to take a trip down memory lane with us, as we dedicate this challenge to the great discoveries of the past century.
The 2020 Rube Goldberg machine must include at least 20 design elements that represent 20 important technological inventions from the 20th century, which have shaped the world and everyday life as we know it. For example: the airplane, television, Internet, radio, antibiotics and automobile.
Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, one of the leading institutes of science and engineering in the world, invites you to participate in the 5th Annual Rube Goldberg Machine School Challenge!
About the Challenge
We invite teams of high school students (grades 9-12) from around the world to create a Top 20 for 2020 Rube Goldberg machine.
This challenge encourages students to work collaboratively and to use out-of-the-box problem-solving skills to build a multi-step, chain reaction machine, which creatively incorporates 20 technological inventions of the 20th century.
Your Rube Goldberg Machine should be comprised of everyday, recyclable items. It should consist of at least 20 elements that represent the Top 20 by 2020 theme, of which 5-15 elements should be central components of the machine and 5 elements should be incorporated as props (e.g., decorative elements).
A panel of judges, representing the Technion, will select the winning entries. Entries will be evaluated on the basis of the teams’ creative expression of the theme.
Recognition & Prizes
Videos of the winning entries will be shared on the Technion’s YouTube channel. Winning teams will be awarded the following prizes:
- First place – One-year full scholarship towards studying at the Technion for each team member*
- Second place – 3D printer for the high school
- Third place – Arduino kit
Registration & Submission
Deadline for registration: March 1, 2020, 23:59 (based on local time in Israel)
Deadline for submission: May 1, 2020, 23:59 (based on local time in Israel)
Contact Information & Additional Information
For more information, feel free to contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
* 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
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.
Minimum/Maximum Steps and themed Elements
Themed elements: 15 central, active themed elements and 5 passive (props)
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.
Each team must submit:
- Team information form (will be sent to all registered groups).
- 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
- Step List
- The step list should include each energy transfer step, numbered in order.
- Mousetrap snaps and pulls a string tied to it
- String pulls open a gate
- Opening of the gate releases a toy car down a ramp
- 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 1, 2020, 23:59 (based on local time in Israel)
Judging Criteria: 100 points possible
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 themed items does the machine include?
1-5: 5 points
6-10: 10 points
11-15: 15 points
16-20: 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?
Themed elements List (15 points possible)
How many themed elements used and how clearly is each element described?
Helpful websites and videos:
- Illustrated step-by-step guide on building a Rube Goldberg Machine
- Video: Technion Chanukah Rube Goldberg Machine
- Video: 75 Chain Reaction Ideas and Inventions
- Video: The Fortune Telling Machine
- Aluminum foil
- Plastic containers
- Water bottles
- Toilet paper or paper towel tubes
- Toy cars
- Cups or bowls
- Rubber bands
- Pipe cleaners
- Modeling clay
- Plastic cups
- Tongue depressors
- Paper tubes
- Boxes (cereal, other)
- Balls (ping pong, golf, etc.)
- 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 tips on building a Rube Goldberg Machine by Prof. Alon Wolf from the faculty of Mechanical Engineering.