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Elementary School Rube Goldberg Machine Contest®!

Oct 27, 2016 12:00 AM

Mad Science® – in collaboration with Rube Goldberg Inc. – is proud to present The 2017 Elementary School Rube Goldberg Machine Contest®!

This contest challenges teams of elementary school students (grades K-6, 5-12 years old) to design and build their own Rube Goldberg Machine™, with the help of their teacher as team leader. What exactly is A Rube Goldberg Machine™ you ask? It is a humorous, over-engineered contraption made-up of a series of chain reactions that leads to the completion of a simple task. 

Each year students are assigned a task to complete, and this year we’re challenging young mad scientists to make a big to-do about their booboos by crafting a machine that can put on a Band-Aid®. The winning contraption will receive a cash prize for their school!

Required for entry: Completed online team page including:

  • OUR STEP LIST: A Step list (3 pages maximum).
  • OUR MACHINE WORKSHEET: The Machine Worksheet.
  • OUR MACHINE EXPLANATION AND WALKTHROUGH: A video explanation of the machine and step walkthrough (3 minutes maximum)
  • OUR MACHINE RUN VIDEO: A video of the entire machine running (2 minutes maximum). NOTE: This video must be a single continuous view with the machine in view at all times and no video editing or breaks. Any evidence of editing will result in disqualification.

Prizes will be awarded to the winning teams’ schools and not to individual team members or team administrators. In the case of home schooled winners, prizes will be awarded to the parent to be used for educational resources.

Team minimum: 3 students (with the exception of home school children – single entrants accepted). Teachers must fill the role of team administrators (parents in the case of home schooled children).

With the exception of a home school team; all students in a team must attend the same school.

Registration opens on November 1, 2016 and closes January 13, 2017

About Mad Science®

Mad Science Group Inc. has locations around the world, which bring science education to millions of children each year. Our innovative programs help kids learn about science through our fun after-school programs, preschool programs, in-class workshops, camps, birthday parties and special events.

For over 30 years, we have invested in research and development and continue to do so. We believe in the importance of being at the forefront of our industry and continue to create hands-on science programming for kids.

Our approach to teaching science invites children to pursue STEM careers. We encourage you – parents, teachers and schools – to contact a Mad Science® location near you to find out more about services in your community. To do so, please visit

About Rube Goldberg and Rube Goldberg Inc.

Rube Goldberg (1883-1970) was a Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist best known for his zany invention cartoons. He was born in San Francisco on July 4, 1883 – and graduated from U. Cal Berkeley with a degree in engineering. He worked at the San Francisco Chronicle then moved to NYC and began working for Hearst publications where he became a household name. Rube Goldberg is the only person ever to be listed in the Merriam Webster Dictionary as an adjective.

Rube Goldberg, Inc. is dedicated to keeping laughter and invention alive through the legacy of its namesake. Annual competitions, image licensing, merchandising, and museum and entertainment opportunities continue to grow and enhance the brand. At the helm is Rube’s granddaughter, Jennifer George, whose best-selling book on her grandfather, The Art of Rube Goldberg, is now in its fourth printing.

RGI is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 dedicated to promoting STEM & STEAM education for students of all ages. For additional information, please visit


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