2019 Challenge : Zip a Zipper!
Who is Rube Goldberg and what is the Rube Goldberg Challenge?
The contest, named after the Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist, sculptor, and author, is offered to school teams comprised of fourth and fifth grade Howard County students. Students transform everyday materials into a wacky innovative machine that accomplishes the given task. But instead of just solving the problem, students have to make the solution as complicated and as convoluted as possible.
What is the benefit of participating in the Rube Goldberg Challenge?
By creating the machine, students incorporate science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) concepts.
Who can participate?
Howard County fourth and fifth grade students who attend a public or private school, or homeschool association, in Howard County or who belong to a Scout troop in Howard County.
How do you participate?
Students must form a team led by a teacher advisor (school-based teams) or troop leader (Scout-based teams). Advisors must register each team.
Teams must complete a task which changes annually. Teams will incorporate the use of a minimum of three different simple machines with the option of using all simple machines. Students will record their invention performing the task, and document in writing how they used science, technology, engineering, and math in developing their machine. Teams must submit the video and written document to be judged. Winners’ videos will be linked from HCLS’ web site.
Why isn’t my school participating?
Participation in the challenge is voluntary. It is each Howard County school’s decision whether to participate.
What is the responsibility of an advisor?
The advisor instructs students on how simple machines work, approves the team’s plan, is present when the machine is being built, and is present when the team videos the machine completing the task. Advisors will be given the Rules and Regulations to follow.
Can a parent be an advisor?
HCPSS and private school teachers are the only advisors for public and private schools. Home school students must work in a team consisting of other fourth and fifth grade students led by an advisor (responsible adult educator). Troop leaders are the advisors for Scout troops. This is to ensure that the students are contributing to and creating the machine and to monitor safety.
Can parents assist?
Parents may assist teacher advisors at the school. They should contact their school’s teacher advisor to see if assistance is needed.
How many teams may participate?
All teams from participating schools that register between October 19 and November 16, 2018 may participate.
How do I register?
Click here to register by December 3, 2018.
What is the deadline for submitting the videos and documentation?
All videos and documentation must be submitted by 5 pm TBD.
What if my school isn’t participating? Is there anything else I can do?
Howard County Library System may offer simple machine classes for children during the year. Please check our class schedule for dates and times.
First, second and third place award in each of the following four categories (total of ten winning teams):
- 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).
In addition, HCLS created a separate category to recognize the hard work of all students who created machines and submitted videos. All submitted videos will be eligible for the Community Favorite Award. Videos will be posted online for community viewing. Viewers will have an opportunity to vote for their favorite “machine.” The winning entry will be determined by the most votes received.
Are there prizes?
Winning teams will be awarded trophies and certificates. All participants and their families will be invited to attend the celebration event on May 14, 2019 at River Hill High School.
Check back to this page for periodic updates.