Budding Inventors Challenge: Rube Goldberg Inspired Machine Competition

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Have you ever done the simple act of watering a plant, and then wondered how you could make it more complex? Probably not! Most of us like to do things the quick and easy way, but not Rube Goldberg…

Introducing Rube Goldberg

Rube Goldberg embraced the humorous nature of extensive chain reactions to accomplish a simple, everyday task. These scenes of experimentation through a series of events are what brought Rube Goldberg to fame, but he didn’t begin showcasing these creations until late in his career.

His interest in art and design was present from childhood. He initially abandoned the idea of this hobby as a potential career when he decided to pursue a degree in engineering. After graduating, he began work on the layout of sewer lines. Before long, he quickly recognized that he needed to find a new career where his creativity could shine!

Rube Goldberg moved to New York where he started creating cartoons for the local paper. His cartoons began to feature these curious machines. People loved how his art drew humor from everyday occurrences.

Adapting Learning to Home Circumstances

In light of 2020 international circumstances due to COVID-19, we at Sprout want to bring humor, creativity, and innovation to your children in their home-centered learning environment. We created a contest for children ages 4-13 where they can make a marble run or Rube Goldberg inspired machine to win prizes for themselves and their school. You can find the rest of the entry guidelines here.

Rube Goldberg and his machines demonstrate the brilliant intersection between engineering and creativity. Today you can find Rube Goldberg’s influence around the nation inspiring kids to harness their STEM skills and brainstorm a contraption.

Finding Inspiration

Here are some popular Rube Goldberg inspired machines on the internet which can help you get your creativity flowing:

Getting Involved!

We hope you will accept Sprout’s Budding Inventor Challenge and compete with us! Invite your friends to join the fun and create their own video showcasing a chain reaction machine.

To help you get started, we have compiled a list of materials that you can find in your household:

  • Cardboard
  • Cereal boxes
  • Plastic water bottles
  • Toilet paper rolls
  • Popsicle sticks
  • Train tracks
  • Legos
  • Pool noodles
  • Disposable cups
  • String
  • Blocks/dominoes
  • Foil
  • Plastic Containers
  • Cans
  • Batteries (for rolling)
  • Buckets
  • Magnets
  • Funnels
  • Tape
  • Glue
  • Books (for height)
  • Balloons
  • Rubber Bands
  • PVC pipe
  • Rulers
  • Fans/other electronics
  • Hot Glue
  • Scissors
  • And more!

Be sure to tag us @sprout_kids if you post your machine on Instagram so that we can re-post on our Instagram story!

We can’t wait to see what you create!

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