Rube Goldberg

Rube Goldberg Competition

A Rube Goldberg Machine is an overly complex contraption, designed with humor and a narrative, to accomplish a simple task.  The Rube Goldberg Machine Contest (RGMC) is an annual international competition that challenges teams of students from middle school to college age to compete in building the most elaborate and hilarious Rube Goldberg Machine.

The competition is named after Rube Goldberg (1883-1970) who was a Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist best known for his zany invention cartoons.  It’s estimated that he did a staggering 50,000 cartoons in his lifetime.

Each year, the national Rube Goldberg organization defines a task and organizes competitions throughout the United States. 

In 2020, the task is "Turn Off a Light."

In 2019, the task was "Feed the Pig" (meaning, put money in a piggy bank.)

In 2018, the task was to pour a bowl of cereal.

In 2017, the task was to apply a band aid.  

Syracuse Jr. High's MESA team won first place in the 2017 Utah tournament sponsored by the AFA Aerospace Education Foundation and went on to compete at the national tournament in Columbus, Ohio.  In 2018 the Syracuse Jr High team came in second place at the state competition.

For information on the local Rube Goldberg competition, contact Jim Aadland at or 801.497.6049.

Also see the Rube Goldberg Machine Contest website for more information.