As part of the A+ Partners in Education initiative, HCLS and HCPSS present the Rube Goldberg Challenge. Named after the Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist, sculptor, and author, the contest is offered to school teams comprised of fourth and fifth grade Howard County students. The students transform everyday materials into a wacky innovative machine that accomplishes the given task. However, instead of just “solving” the problem, students are charged with making the solution as complicated and convoluted as possible. By designing and building the machine, students incorporate science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) concepts into their creations. Simple machine classes were taught at HCLS branches during the school year.
2018 CHALLENGE: Fill and Close a Container
- Advisor Information Meeting (Location TBD): October 19, 2017 at 4:30 pm
- Registration opens: October 19, 2017
- Registration deadline: November 17, 2017
- Projects Due: April 27, 2018 by 5 pm.
- Awards Ceremony: May 15, 2018 at 7 pm at River Hill High School, 12101 Clarksville Pike, Clarksville, MD. Teams should arrive at 6 pm.
Rube Goldberg Awards
First, Second, and Third Place awards in each category — (total of 18 awards)
- Most Green – The winning entry will incorporate the most variety and/or number of everyday recycled materials and items based on the master list included in Howard County’s Recycling Guide for County Collections.
- Most Scientific – The winning entry will most effectively communicate in writing how their simple machines function and connect to STEM.
- Most Humorous – The winning entry will demonstrate the witty use of non-traditional items sequenced to incorporate the element of surprise. This does not mean humor in a sketch only. Humor should be incorporated into or with the actual operation of the machine.
- Most Complex – The winning entry will incorporate a minimum of eight steps and be judged on the complexity of the design (e.g., number of steps, variety of machines).
- Most Complicated System – The winning entry will incorporate a complicated, interconnected use of simple machines within their machine system (e.g. travel upwards, travel backwards, not only using gravity as the force necessary for movement).
Community Favorite Award
To recognize the hard work of all students who created machines and submitted videos, a Community Favorite Award will be given based on popular vote. Watch students’ videos at this link and vote for your favorite machine between Monday, May 1, 2017 at 9 am and Sunday, May 7, 2017 at 11:59 pm. Follow the directions on this link for your vote to count. The entry that receives the most votes will receive the award.
Vote is now over for the 2017 Community Favorite Award.
Winning teams will be awarded trophies and certificates. All participants and their families will be invited to attend the celebration event on May 15, 2018 at 7 pm. Teams should arrive at 6 pm.
Rube Goldberg Challenge – Student Information – Student Information (.ppt)
Pulley – Word Find
Inclined Plane and Simple Machine – Forces Review
Introducing Rube Goldberg Lesson
Forces and Simple Machines
Simple Machines Song
Simple Machines Exploration Lesson Plan
Simple Machines FAQ
Simple Machines Inside and Out
“Quiz” on Simple Machines
Simple Machines for Kids
Fun Car Facts For Kids: Simple Machines Used In Automobiles
More information found at a web site recommended by teacher, Lisa Phillips.