Rube Goldberg

Advisor: Nora Gathje

Thomas Edison once said, “To invent, all you need is a good imagination and a pile of junk.”

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 complicated machines that complete the annual task all in the spirit of Rube’s illustrations.

This is an excellent youth development program that teaches teamwork, problem solving, engineering and physics principles, and most of all, creativity.  The goal is for students to take an overly simple task and make it as absurdly complex as possible in the hopes that someday they have the skill sets to analyze an overly complex task and make it absurdly simple.

CONGRATULATIONS to this year’s (2021) Chatfield High School Rube Goldberg Team, The NERD Degree.  They competed in this year’s competition with their Sci-ANTS Fair themed chain reaction machine with 75 steps that ends with “shaking and pouring a box of Nerds candy.”  The contest was National and Chatfield won FIRST Place for Division II (High School) and the award for Best Final Step.  Team members include Abbi Gillespie, Tessa McMahon, Lauren Cole, Katie Dornack, Marlee Musty, and Nathan Dietz.

2018 National Champions