Section 101 Blog

Section 101 Launches International Online Rube Goldberg Machine Contest

We are proud of all of the sites we work with, but lately, we are kind of glowing about what’s going on over at RUBEGOLDBERG.COM . About a year ago, Section 101 was tasked with bringing the brand online so people could finally see the amazing detail of what Rube did. We became a partner in getting the brand onto the web and in to the brains of kids who may have never come across Rube’s contraptions otherwise; the site showcases over 200 pieces of his work, none of which had never been seen or experienced before. 

In 1988 the first National Rube Goldberg Machine Contest for high school and college students was launched. It has become a huge success, with past winners appearing on The Tonight Show, Late Night With David Letterman, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, The Today Show, CBS’s This Morning, CNN and Good Morning America. The RGMC now has the honor of being one of Purdue University’s largest non-sports media events.

This year, for the first time ever, Section 101 helped to launch the International Online Rube Goldberg Machine Contest. Geared for children ages 11-14, this contest serves as a way to introduce Rube’s concepts to a brand new generation. The task for this inaugural contest was to inflate a balloon a pop it (complex solutions for simple tasks). Each team had an adult leader, as well as a team captain, and teams were given their own page on the Rube Goldberg web site, which they could customize with fun answers to a Q&A as well as a ‘step list’ detailing their methodology. After coming up with a mechanism, the team had to film, and post, their submission on YouTube, which would be judged by both an expert panel (including 2 members of the band OK GO and the Legacy Director of Rube Goldberg Inc) and “regular folks” who could vote for the People’s Choice Award. One of the things we’re most proud of was the integration of all aspects of social media with the Rube Goldberg website. All the teams not only had their official page on the site, featuring information about team members and the school they were from, but they also used Twitter and Facebook pages to help promote their submission on YouTube. 

If you haven’t had a chance, you should take a look at the Rube Goldberg website and watch the videos from the three finalists at http://rubegoldberg.com/. The site has already announced 2013’s task (hammering a nail), and we’re excited to see how this concept will continue to grow. Personally, this is one of my favorite types of projects, to be honest. It showcases the best of the web in so many ways, bringing people of all ages together and teaching them something they didn’t know before. 


on twitter: @rubegoldberg


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