Rube Goldberg

Reuben Lucius “Rube” Goldberg (July 4th, 1883 – December 7th 1970) was an American cartoonist, sculptor, author, engineer and inventor. Similar to Heath Robinson devices in the United Kingdom, he is best known for a series of popular cartoons depicting complex gadgets that perform simple tasks in indirect, convoluted ways. Goldberg received many honors in his lifetime, including a Pulitzer Prize for his cartooning in 1948.

This Team Building competition challenges you to make your own Rube Goldberg machine by taking the pile of odd, strange components and using as many components as possible to create a device that completes the desired task (our most popular device fills a cup of water). Points will be awarded in the following areas:

  • Use of Components: Your team will be given several components. Points are awarded by how many components you use to create your Rube Goldberg. The fewer components you use – the fewer points you will receive. For example, if you use the sombrero, mini-grocery cart, paper tube, and foam finger you will receive four points. However, if you use the sombrero, mini-grocery cart, and paper tube only – you will only receive three points.
  • Speed: We time the machine. So, from the moment you start the machine until the task is completed, the clock will be running. You will be given points based on how many seconds (or minutes) it takes to complete the appointed task.
  • Creativity: How the machine operates and how it was constructed is as important as completing the task. Your team will be judged on the overall creativity of your creation.

Each team will be given the same number of items, but the items may be completely different. With a combination of the components, tape, string, paper, and scissors each team will be given the same simple task to perform (like filling a cup of water). How you get there is completely up to you. This program is for groups who want to be challenged. It is a thought provoking Team Building program with serious rewards.