Rube Goldberg Machine Contest Goes Digital with Help of NASEF and Minecraft Education

North America Scholastic Esports Federation Seeks Students’ Wacky Contraptions in Free Team-based STEAM and Engineering Contest

(Orange County, CA – August 21, 2020) – It has never been possible to enter the popular Rube Goldberg Machine Contest using Minecraft until now. The North America Scholastic Esports Federation (NASEF) has teamed up with Rube Goldberg, Inc., and Minecraft Education so that students can devise a digital contraption to complete a simple task in the most wacky and overly complicated way possible.

In honor of the new partnership, Rube Goldberg Inc. is offering the first ever digital Rube Goldberg Machine Contest. Students in grades 3-12 will have a unique opportunity to improve their digital and STEAM1 skills.

Rube Goldberg Machine Contests inspire communication, problem-solving and teamwork while honing skills like math, physics and chemistry. What separates a Rube Goldberg Machine Contest from other chain reaction competitions is artistry, storytelling, and a sense of humor.

The digital competition will provide a fun STEAM learning program that is equally effective online or in-person, an important consideration in the educational environment created as a result of coronavirus.

Additionally, NASEF will offer free entry into the contest and free use of Minecraft Education Edition for all participants. Educators, whether teachers or family members, will receive free guides and instruction to make this a productive event.

NASEF leverages massive youth interest in esports and gaming to teach career and life skills. As with all of its programs, it is providing free participation in order to offer equal access to this learning opportunity for all students.

“My grandfather, Rube Goldberg, was a cartoonist who drew wonderfully elaborate machines and inspired a movement to envision the craziest machine that could complete the simplest task,” said Jennifer George, legacy director of Rube Goldberg, Inc. “We’re thrilled to partner with NASEF in order to help kids to use computers to design equally creative contraptions.”

“This year, people are scrambling to find engaging programs for kids, and this contest offers a valuable mix of play and learning,” said Gerald Solomon, founder of NASEF and executive director of the Samueli Foundation, whose philanthropy is bringing this educational opportunity to students completely free. “There are many ways to express creativity and exercise principles of engineering and technology in today’s digital world. This exciting competition will provide a place to practice those important skills while competing for prizes.”

NASEF will offer a series of training sessions for educators to learn teaching principles for each challenge. Six skill-building mini-challenges utilizing Minecraft Education Edition will be conducted this fall. Winners will be chosen by raffle. In Spring 2021, students will combine those simple machines to create elaborate Rube Goldberg Machines in a larger-scale competition.

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.

See NASEF.org/Learning/Rube-Goldberg for contest details.

About the Organizers

Rube Goldberg Inc. is a family-run not-for-profit 501(c)3 focused on equity and access in STEAM education. Find them on Twitter and Facebook.

The North America Scholastic Esports Federation is on a mission to provide opportunities for ALL students to use esports as a platform to acquire critical communication, collaboration, and problem-solving skills needed to thrive in work and in life. Learn more at NASEF.org.

Most esports matches are streamed live on NASEF’s Twitch channel; the RGMC events will be streamed by partners at Participate. Join online conversations on Twitter @NASEFedu, or on Facebook and Instagram.

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All trademarks are the property of their respective holders. 

1 STEAM = science, technology, arts, engineering, and mathematics 

Media Contact: Claire LaBeaux, claire@NASEF.org