What is the Rube Goldberg Invention Convention?

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The First Rube Goldberg Invention Convention will be held in the Spring 2000. Youth and adults of any age are welcome to participate. This free event, and the involvement of the participants, will promote awareness in inventions and how things work, and will foster reasoning skills and the imagination through hands-on learning. And it's guaranteed to be fun!

      Garden Spot Middle School, New Holland, PA
      Saturday, May 20, 2000
      8:30 AM Project Setup/Registration, 10:00 AM Public Demonstrations

Rube Goldberg (1883 - 1970) was educated as an engineer, but made a living as a comic strip illustrator. His best-known creations were crazy machines designed to show a complicated way to perform a simple task.

Students across the nation construct Rube Goldberg machines for school assignments, contests or science fairs. The machines are wacky contraptions using common household items, such as balls, dominoes, funnels, mousetraps, and anything else to perform a simple task. The end result is a "machine" of many connected parts that may turn the page of a book, drop coins in a bank, or as in the original Rube Goldberg cartoons, to perform some common task in a complicated way. The challenge is to construct a machine that can perform these tasks automatically, with the only human intervention at the start of the machine.

The Rube Goldberg Invention Convention is a "project fair" where participants and observers gather to enjoy science. It is a non-competitive event with the emphasis on education and fun. It is not a contest with judging. The project entries may include Rube Goldberg machines or invention prototypes, as well as invention drawings.

The purpose of the event is to provide an opportunity for learning about Rube Goldberg machines, how things work, and basic principles of science in a challenging but entertaining way. Science teachers easily relate their lesson plans to the principles that make the machines work, such as velocity, cause and effect, momentum, magnetism, and simple machines such as levers, wheels and axles, and inclined planes.

Various groups may wish to participate in the Rube Goldberg Invention Convention. This includes homeschoolers, boy and girl scouts, and even adults at area organizations seeking ways to facilitate teamwork and group collaboration.

The mission of Mechanical Invention Workshop is to support creative learning in science, engineering and math. With the belief that learning is best experienced with a hands-on approach, this organization encourages challenge, discovery, and innovation.

To participate, create your own Rube Goldberg machine, invention, or drawing. Then print the Entry Form (see menu at the left) and mail it in no later than April 24, 2000.

For more information on the event, check the rules and guidelines at the link called Information for Participants or contact Mechanical Invention Workshop by email at the link in the menu.

Due to space limitations, there is no guarantee on space availability. Participants will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. Confirmation by mail or phone will be done after April 24.

Look around this site, learn more about the amazing Rube Goldberg, and see how you can participate in a Rube Goldberg Invention Convention, in Lancaster, PA!

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Illustrations of Rube Goldberg Incorporated. Rube Goldberg is a trademark of Rube Goldberg Incorporated. Materials of Mechanical Invention Workshop and the Rube Goldberg Invention Convention, 1999.