Maine South High School wins 15th annual Rube Goldberg Machine Contest

March 15, 2010

ARGONNE, Ill. — A team from Maine South won Argonne National Laboratory’s 15th annual Rube Goldberg Machine Contest, held Friday at the Chicago Children’s Museum on Navy Pier. By winning Argonne's contest, Maine South advances to the National High School Rube Goldberg Machine Championship to be held Saturday, March 27, at Purdue University.

Maine South defeated 10 other teams by building a complex machine that takes at least 20 steps "to dispense an appropriate amount of hand sanitizer into a hand."

Second place in today’s competition was won by York Community High School and third place went to Chicago Christian High School.

The People's Choice Trophy, awarded by popular vote by people attending the Chicago Children's Museum during the contest, went to Maine South.

Other teams in the contest were:

  • Antioch Community High School
  • Alan B. Shepard High School
  • Glenbrook North High School
  • Hoffman Estates High School
  • Joliet Central High School
  • Latino Youth High School
  • Walter Payton College Prep High School
  • Wilmington High School

In addition to advancing to the national championship, the winning team received a traveling trophy to display until the 2010 contest and a tour of Argonne, which will include the Advanced Photon Source and lunch with Argonne scientists. The first-place team also will have the opportunity to demonstrate its winning machine at Argonne on the day of its tour. In addition, each team member and the team's faculty advisor received an Argonne National Laboratory Rube Goldberg Machine laptop backpack and an Argonne Rube Goldberg Machine Contest T-shirt.

Second-place team members and their faculty advisor received Argonne National Laboratory Rube Goldberg Machine laptop backpacks and Argonne Rube Goldberg Machine Contest T-shirts.

Third-place team members and their faculty advisor received Argonne National Laboratory Rube Goldberg Machine Contest T-shirts.

Rube Goldberg machine contests are inspired by Reuben Lucius Goldberg, whose cartoons combined simple household items into complex devices to perform trivial tasks. The machines combine the principles of physics and engineering, using common objects such as marbles, mousetraps, stuffed animals, electric mixers, vacuum cleaners, rubber tubes, bicycle parts and anything else that happens to be on hand.

Information about the Argonne Rube Goldberg Machine Contest for High Schools is available online.

Argonne’s Division of Educational Programs and Communications and Public Affairs Division sponsored the March 12 event in collaboration with Chicago Children’s Museum and the National Rube Goldberg Machine Contest, held annually at Purdue University. The event is licensed by Rube Goldberg, Inc.

“Rube Goldberg” is a registered trademark and copyright of Rube Goldberg, Inc., which can be reached, at (203) 227-0818, by e-mail at Rube@RubeGoldberg.com or via their Web site.

Chicago Children’s Museum’s mission is to create a community where play and learning connect. For more information about Chicago Children’s Museum, call (312) 527-1000 or visit their Web site.