2018 Rube Goldberg Machine Contests

We're pleased to announce the dates and locations of STEM Forward's Rube Goldberg Machine Contests for the 2017-2018 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 9, 2018 at Waukesha County Technical College

Rube Goldberg Machine Contest (Middle School level, mostly Waukesha County schools) -
Friday, April 20, 2018 at WCTC

Rube Goldberg Machine Contest (Middle School level, mostly Milwaukee County schools) -
Friday, May 11, 2018 at MSOE's Kern Center

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. 

Attention Middle School Teachers: Sign Up for the 2018 Rube Goldberg Machine Contest


Are you looking for a fun, hands-on engineering project? Gather your students and plan to participate in the 2018 Rube Goldberg Machine Contest. Teams work together to build a complicated machine that can do a simple task.

For the middle school level, this year’s challenge is to Ring a Bell in eight or more steps. The cost to participate is $50 per school. The competitions for middle schools will take place on Friday, April 20 at WCTC and Friday, May 11 at MSOE’s Kern Center. To register a middle school team, please contact Chantel Kuczmarski at 715.891.7922 or ckuczmarski@stemforward.org. The deadline to register a middle school team is March 31, 2018.

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

Read about our 2017 winners!