Machine Contests
The Rube Goldberg Machine Contest

The Rube Goldberg Machine Contest (RGMC) is an annual national competition that challenges teams of students from middle school to college age to compete in building the most elaborate and hilarious Rube Goldberg Machine.

A Rube Goldberg Machine is an overly complex contraption, designed with humor and a narrative, to accomplish a simple task.

This year’s competition task is: ZIP A ZIPPER!

The RGMC is STEM and STEAM friendly, and Teams and their machines are judged on a range of criteria from complexity, machine flow, creativity, humor and story-telling -- along with the successful achievement of the task at hand.

Are you up for the challenge?


Dating back over 60 years, the contest’s namesake is the late American Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist, humorist and inventor, Reuben Lucius Goldberg, who specialized in drawing whimsical machines with every-day objects that performed a seemingly simple task.

Goldberg’s legacy lives on through the contests -- as students nationwide build crazy machines that complete the annual task, all in the spirit of Rube’s illustrations.

View the International Online Contest page for middle school students.

View the High School and College Contest schedule for dates and to find a contest near you.

No contest near you? Sign up to become a Host. Hosting is a great way to:

  • Create an exciting, annual, on-campus event that sparks the imagination of media and spectators;
  • Connect students from all disciplines -- Engineering to Theater, Physics to Art, and Chemistry to Computer Science -- in a creative, competitive, and fun atmosphere fueled by learning and humor;
  • Engage your students and teachers with an audience and community of creative and abstract thinkers, including prospective students;
  • Help your students become the problem-solvers of tomorrow by participating in a Rube Goldberg Machine Contest today!
Free Zipper Kit

YKK, the world’s leading manufacturer of zippers and other fastening products, is proud to offer registered U.S. Rube Goldberg teams a free kit featuring three of our top quality zippers.

To get your free zipper kit:

1. Register your team.

2. Visit http://ykkamerica.com/feedbackform.htmIn the comment section, please state that you are requesting your free zipper kit, the location where you are competing, and your mailing address. Kits are available only to registered U.S. Rube Goldberg teams.

To learn more about YKK, please visit www.ykk-usa.com.

Free Parts Kit

igus® is proud to offer complimentary products for registered teams of the 2014 Rube Goldberg Machine Contest.

1. Register your team.
2. Click below to get a free parts kit.

Kits are available only to Registered US Rube Goldberg teams. 


The winners of our International Online Rube Goldberg Machine Contest will take home littleBits PRIZES! CLICK HERE.

Register for our International Online RGMC and receive $10 off purchases of $99 or more. Email us for your code.

If you are an educator, please e-mail education@littlebits.cc to receive an additional 15% discount on all littleBits purchases.

2014 Rulebooks

COLLEGE AND HIGH SCHOOL RGMC - compete with the best for the National Title. 
Click here for the Rule Book

Click here for the Rule Book


2014 National Hosts

High School Nationals Host:
Waukesha County Technical College
800 Main Street
Pewaukee, WI 53702
The date: Saturday, April 5, 2014

College Nationals Host
Center of Science and Industry in Columbus, Ohio. (COSI)
333 West Broad Street
Columbus, Ohio, 43215
The date: Saturday, April 12, 2014

JAC CEN DEL HS Regionals

First Place: Southeastern Career Center

Wisconsin HS Regionals

First Place: St. Catherines

Second Place: Pius XI

COSI HS Regionals

First Place: Columbia Central

Second Place: Centennial 

Third Place: Homestead HS

Argonne Labs HS Regional

First Place: Reavis High

Great Mill HS Regional

First Place: Great Mills, Hornet Team 3

Second Place: McDonogh Eagles

Third Place: Great Mills, Hornet Team 2

St Agnes Academy Regional

First Place: St Agnes, Toy Story

Penn State College Regional

First Place: Engineering Leadership Society

University of Connecticut HS Regionals

First Place: Trinity Catholic, Stamford, CT

Purdue College Regionals

First Place: PSPE Purdue

Lower Hudson Valley Engineering Expo HS Regionals

First Place: Putnam North Westchester BOCES 

Second Place: Ulster BOCES 

Minnesota State HS Regionals

First Place: Southland HS, Winter Wake Up

 Second Place: Southland HS, Happy Campers

Third Place: Mankato West HS, The Leftovers