2019 Rube Goldberg Machine Contests

We're pleased to announce the dates and locations of STEM Forward's Rube Goldberg Machine Contests for the 2018-2019 school year. We will host one event at the high school level, and two events at the middle school level.

And they are...

Rube Goldberg Machine Contest (High School level) -
Friday, March 1, 2019 at Waukesha County Technical College

Rube Goldberg Machine Contest (Middle School level, mostly Waukesha County schools) -
Friday, April 12, 2019 at WCTC

Rube Goldberg Machine Contest (Middle School level, mostly Milwaukee County schools) -
TBD at MSOE's Kern Center


St. Charles Borromeo School in Milwaukee
Wins First Place

STEM Forward's Rube Goldberg Machine Contest for Middle Schoolers at MSOE

STEM Forward's Rube Goldberg Machine Contest for Middle Schoolers at MSOE

Thirty-five teams from Wisconsin middle schools put their skills and creativity to the test to see who could build the most innovative and functional machine that could ring a bell in eight or more steps. STEM Forward’s Rube Goldberg Machine Contest for middle school students took place at the Milwaukee School of Engineering on Friday, May 11, 2018.

Congratulations to the winners:

 1st Place:  Men in Black – St. Charles Borromeo School in Milwaukee
 2nd Place: Ruby’s Diner – Forest Park Middle School in Franklin
 3rd Place: Jalalla – Longfellow Middle School in Wauwatosa
 4th Place: Building LondonBay Lane Middle School in Muskego
 5th Place: Grandma’s Kitchen – Longfellow Middle School, Wauwatosa

Special Awards

Best Construction, sponsored Milwaukee Area Technical College – Rock & Rube, Wheatland Center School, Burlington

Risk, sponsored by Collins Engineers – Carnival, Whitman Middle School, Wauwatosa

Most Innovative Step, sponsored by the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) – Odyssey to Earth, Forest Park Middle School, Franklin


Edison Middle School (Janesville) Wins First Place in STEM Forward's Rube Goldberg Machine Contest for Middle Schoolers at WCTC

Nineteen teams representing four Wisconsin middle schools put their skills and creativity to the test to see who could build the most innovative and functional machine that could ring a bell in eight or more steps. The event took place at Waukesha County Technical College on Friday, April 20, 2018.

Congratulations to the winners:

1st Place – Adventures in Toyland from Edison Middle School (Janesville)

2nd Place – Dogsharkopuses from Karcher Middle School (Burlington)

3rd Place – Trash Pandas from Edison Middle School (Janesville)

4th Place – The ER from Kiel Middle School

5th Place – Pit Crew from Waukesha STEM Academy

Special Awards

Best Construction, sponsored Milwaukee Area Technical College – Ghostbusters - Waukesha STEM Academy

Risk Award, sponsored by Collins Engineers – Ocean Men – Waukesha STEM Academy

Most Innovative Step, sponsored by SWE (Society of Women Engineers) – Bird is the Word Beachparty – Kiel Middle School


Waunakee High School Wins First Place in the WI Regional Rube Goldberg Machine Contest for
High School Students

Congratulations to Waunakee High School for taking home top honors at the Wisconsin High School Rube Goldberg Machine Contest (RGMC) held at Waukesha County Technical College (WCTC) on Friday, March 9!

Waunakee High School was one of 10 teams from Wisconsin and Illinois to show off their Rube Goldberg machines in 20 steps or more. Students are challenged to take an elementary task and provide a complex, zany solution using ordinary objects, mechanical gadgets and miscellaneous items to achieve a specific goal – this year, to pour cereal into a bowl. The completed machine must fit in an overall space of 250 cubic feet and run for no more than 2 minutes per run.

The contest gives students an opportunity to demonstrate their engineering skills, compete for prizes and vie for the chance to advance to the finals in April at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago.

Listed below are the winners from this year’s contest:

Wisconsin regional winners:

1st Place – Waunakee High School, $750 prize and advance to finals

2nd Place – St. Catherine’s High School – Racine, $500 prize

3rd Place – Kimberly High School, $250 prize

Special awards:

Most Creative Use of Materials, sponsored by ASCE – Southeast Branch – Kimberly High School

Best Design, sponsored by WCTC – Pius XI Catholic High School

Risk, sponsored by Collins Engineers – Waupaca High School

Best Presentation, sponsored by Milwaukee School of Engineering – St. Catherine’s High School – Racine

Best Technical Construction, sponsored by Milwaukee Area Technical College – Waunakee High School

Best Technical Writing of Machine Steps, sponsored by Society of Women Engineers – Milwaukee Lutheran High School

Most Interesting Step, sponsored by STEM Forward – Wauwatosa School District

Peer Award, sponsored by Milwaukee Area Engineering and Technology Partnership – Pius XI Catholic High School

Professor Butt’s Creative Spark Award – Waunakee High School

Rube Goldberg Spirit of Hilarious Invention Award – Waunakee High School

Helping Hand Teamwork Award – St. Catherine’s High School -- Racine

The RGMC is named after the Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist, sculptor, author and engineer who spent the early part of his career making “inventions” to tackle basic tasks. The event is coordinated by the Milwaukee Area Engineering and Technology Partnership, which includes WCTC, STEM Forward, Milwaukee Area Technical College and Milwaukee School of Engineering.

Mark your calendars! The Rube Goldberg Middle School Contests are set for Friday, April 20 at WCTC and Friday, May 11 at MSOE's Kern Center. The challenge is to ring a bell in eight or more steps. 

sponsors 2018.jpg

Applying a variety of STEM skills, teams of middle school and/or high school students create complicated machines to perform a predetermined simple task. These extraordinary machines typically reflect very diverse design solutions. Problem solving, advanced manufacturing concepts, and the engineering design process (not to mention math and science) are all part of the educational experience.

Is your school interested in participating? Contact Chantel Kuczmarski, Communications Manager, at 715.891.7922 or ckuczmarski@stemforward.org for more information.

Our first place winners at the high school appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live! Click the video below.

2017 First Place Regional Winner & National Winner: Kimberly High School, Team Kitchen

2017 First Place Winner: "Apocalypse" from Longfellow Middle School in Wauwatosa

2017 First Place Winner: Pilgrim Park Middle School (Elm Grove, WI) “Oz – The Great and Powerful”

2017 First Place Regional Winner & National Winner: Kimberly High School, Team Kitchen

2018 / 2017