Target Applicant: Pre-University, Undergraduate
The Rube Goldberg Machine Contest (RGMC) brings the ideas of Pulitzer Prize-winning artist Rube Goldberg’s “invention” cartoons to life. This Olympics of Complexity is designed to pull students away from conventional problem-solving and push them into the endless chaos of imagination and intuitive thought. To be specific, groups are given an elementary challenge: something as simple as peeling an apple, sharpening a pencil, or putting toothpaste on a toothbrush. But instead of just “solving” the problem, students have to make the solution as complicated and as convoluted as possible. In fact, the more steps – there’s a minimum of twenty – the better the Rube Goldberg Machine. And what a machine! An assemblage of ordinary objects, mechanical gadgets, and the oddest odds and ends are linked together and somehow get to the desired goal.