Rube Goldberg Contest - Rube Goldberg Machine


PSPE/SHPE machine

Zach Umperovitch (in hat) adjusts the PSPE/SHPE machine at the local Rube Goldberg competition Saturday at Purdue. The team won the competition and will compete in the national contest March 31. Also pictured are team members David Cannon (left), Alex Weaver (top) and Adam Bahrainwala. (Purdue University photo/Andrew Hancock)
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What is the competition?

Inspired by cartoonist Rube Goldberg, college students nationwide compete to design a machine that uses the most complex process to complete a simple task - put a stamp on an envelope, screw in a light bulb, make a cup of coffee - in 20 or more steps.

The competition is sponsored by the Purdue University campus chapter of Theta Tau, a professional engineering fraternity. 


What is the 2014 task?

To be announced at a later date.

When were the 2013 contests?

The regional contest was held on Feb. 23, 2013.

The national contest was held on Mar. 30 at noon in Columbus, Ohio at the Center of Industry and Science.

How did the contest gain national prominence?

The contest began as a rivalry between two Purdue engineering fraternities and was popular at Purdue in the 1940s and 1950s. It was revived in 1983. Since then, winners have appeared on "Jimmy Kimmel Live," "Newton's Apple," "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson," "Late Night With David Letterman," NBC's "Today," CBS's "This Morning," CBS News, "Beyond 2000," CNN and ABC's "Good Morning America."

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