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 and Scout troops 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.
2020 CHALLENGE: Mark and Cast an Election Ballot
- Advisor Information Meeting: October 30, 4 – 5:30 pm, Howard County Public School System
- Registration opens: October 31, 2019
- Registration deadline: December 20, 2020
- Projects due: between April 20 – 24, 2020
- Community Favorite Award voting at hclibrary.org/rubegoldbergvideo: May 4 – 8, 2020
- Celebration and Awards Ceremony: Tuesday, May 12, 2020 at 6 pm at Hammond High School (8800 Guilford Rd., Columbia, MD 21046). Teams should arrive at 5:30 pm.
Rube Goldberg Awards (Only one award per team will be granted)
First, second, and third place awards in each category — (total of 18 awards)
- Most Green – The winning entry will utilize the most variety and/or number of everyday recycled materials and items, based on a master list included in the documentation of recyclable materials based on 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. (increased to 600 word limit to allow for more detail in essay)
- Most Surprising – The winning entry will demonstrate the witty use of non-traditional items sequenced to incorporate the element of surprise and/or include an entertaining action (not performance). Surprise could be for the team themselves, and/or for the viewers
- 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 is given based on popular vote. Watch students’ videos at hclibrary.org/rubegoldbergvideo and vote for your favorite machine. The entry that receives the most votes will receive the award. Only one award per team will be granted.
Winning teams will be awarded trophies and certificates.
Celebration and Awards Ceremony
All participants and their families are invited to attend the celebration and awards ceremony event.
Each team will receive a tri-fold display board to display information about their Rube Goldberg Machine. Teams will have the opportunity to display their boards, discuss how they made their machines, and discuss what they learned prior to the awards ceremony.
Hammond High School
TUESDAY, MAY 12
5:30 pm: Display boards in the cafeteria
6 pm: Awards ceremony in the auditorium
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.