Minecraft Big Build Challenge: Add “sprinkles” atop a cake!

NASEF’s first-ever Digital Rube Goldberg Machine Contest is in the final phase: the Big Build. In a livestream, the Rube Goldberg family joined NASEF leaders to reveal the challenge: use Minecraft to design an elaborate machine that accomplishes the simple task of adding sprinkles on top of a cake in the most complicated and hilarious way possible! 

Throughout Fall 2020, NASEF has provided instruction on how to use Minecraft to create six simple machines: wedge, wheel + axle, screw, inclined plane, lever, and pulley. Now, participants will create and then connect those machines to create a wacky contraption to - eventually - decorate a cake. They’re encouraged to incorporate humor and to add fun elements like sound effects and music. Visit our YouTube channel to review our past streams on the Rube Goldberg simple machines. Teams will also need to decide how machines will represent the act of adding sprinkles atop a cake, since Minecraft does not have sprinkles as an item.

Free to join! This international event is open to all students around the world. To enter,, just sign up and start building. Whether you had a team that competed in the fall pre-season challenges, or you’re just getting started, there’s room for everyone to participate. 

Win prizes! Each division will have awards for the top three entries. Winners receive a gift card for Amazon (or equivalent online retailer): first place is $500 plus free Team admission for 2022 Rube Goldberg Machine Contest, second place is a $250 gift card, third place is a $100 gift card. All division winners will also receive a 30-minute mentoring session with a Minecraft Expert, and individual official 2021 Digital Rube Goldberg Machine Minecraft Contest certificates. Their entries will also be showcased on NASEF’s website and social media.

The more, the merrier! NASEF is providing free registration to enable as many students as possible to participate. It is also offering free use of Minecraft Education Edition (for PCs and Chromebooks), extending the opportunity to many more students.

Teachers and parents (18 or over) can sign up on behalf of the student team. There’s a Junior Division (ages 8-12), Senior Division (ages 13 - 18), and an “At Home” Family Division which can cross age brackets (all builders must be under age 18). The contest closes on March 10, 2021 at 5:00 pm PDT. Review the contest guide for all the details. 

NASEF will also host related Beyond the Game challenges for students to compete in additional areas such as cartooning, graphic design, social media, story-telling, and engineering.

Kids will love creating machines in Minecraft, and at the same time they’ll be building STEM, STEAM and engineering skills. Teachers, we’ve mapped the ISTE and NGSS standards met; just visit the web page and click the Education Standards button. 

Full contest rules and suggestions can be found here. Don’t delay, gather friends and family and start creating your fun Rube Goldberg machine to decorate a cake today!