shortcut to content
Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

News Highlights

Page address:

Rube Goldberg machine design contest is Feb. 11

For Minnesota high school students

High school students to compete in odd-machine contest Friday.

Minnesota State University, Mankato Media Relations Office news release [2/10/2011]

High school students from across Minnesota will compete to design the most entertaining but functional plant-watering machine at Minnesota State University, Mankato’s annual Rube Goldberg Competition Friday, Feb. 11.

Rube Goldberg Machine High School Competition will be from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Centennial Student Union Ballroom. The public may view the contraptions at 12:30 p.m.

During the contest more than 200 students from high schools across Minnesota will demonstrate machines that water plants in 20 steps or more. Teams will receive awards for building the most Goldberg-like contraptions based on number of steps, presentation style, theme, entertainment value, functionality and unique use of common objects.

The event, sponsored by the Minnesota State Mankato Center for Engineering & Manufacturing Excellence, lets high school students display their creativity, humor and ingenuity while learning about engineering.

Rube Goldberg (1883-1970) was an engineer, sculptor, author and Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist who depicted overly complex machines performing simple tasks. The machines that he drew often were impossible to build and operate, but were entertaining because they defied implementation.

Goldberg spent most of his career as a cartoonist for the New York Evening Mail, founding the National Cartoonist Society and winning a Pulitzer Prize.

Winners of the Minnesota State Mankato Rube Goldberg event will advance to the national competition at Ferris State University, Big Rapids, Mich., on March 19. Minnesota State Mankato also will host the regional collegiate Rube Goldberg Contest on Monday, Feb. 14. It, too, is open to the public.

Those who want more information may click on or

Minnesota State Mankato, a comprehensive, doctoral university with 15,393 students, is part of the Minnesota State Colleges & Universities system.

Email this article | Permanent link | Topstories news | Topstories news archives