Please note: We are in the process of updating our Category Descriptions and Rubrics for STEM Expo 5 (March 7, 2015) - these should be updated by December 1, 2014.
A Rube Goldberg assembly, contraption, invention, device, or apparatus is a deliberately over-engineered or overdone machine that performs a very simple task in a very complex fashion, usually including a chain reaction. The expression is named after American cartoonist and inventor Rube Goldberg (1883-1970).
A successful Rube Goldberg entry must have the following:
- A minimum of 10 'cause and effect’ steps
- Inclusion of three simple machines (e.g. lever, wheel and axle, pulley, incline plane, screw, wedge)
- Written sequential procession from beginning to final step
- Submission can be an illustration, collage or construction; or a combination of the fore-mentioned
Additional judging will be based on the following:
- Device has a clearly identified task
- Initialization of sequence is simple and straightforward
- Use of several types of physical forces (inertia, gravity, friction, combustion, stored energy. etc.
- Operational procession clearly labeled in alphabetic sequence
- Simple machines identified correctly with indications of direction of force
- Illustrations or collage (if used) clearly define operation of sequence
- Detail of illustrations or collage show different views of the steps in the sequence and of the timelin
- Device's construction has specific theme, or specific grouping of materials are used in constructions
- Device runs fully to completion with little or no outside intervention
- Complexity of device
- Thought was given to reset time and effort required
- Multiple paths of events occur and rejoin
Other Contests in this category
- Rube Goldberg Machine Contest: http://www.rubegoldberg.com