If you have children you have probably heard of the acronym S.T.E.M. Then you might have heard of Rube Goldberg.
Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.
According to the stemschool.com website, STEM schools focus on these subjects to help our nation’s youth gain the skills required to succeed in today’s challenging world.
This year marks the 30th anniversary of the RUBE GOLDBERG MACHINE CONTEST®. Getting its official start in 1988 as a college competition, the RUBE GOLDBERG MACHINE CONTEST® showcases spectacular machines inspired by the legacy of Rube Goldberg. Goldberg is legendary and an iconic Pulitzer Prize-winning engineer and cartoonist. He satirized machine design though his “invention cartoons.” These drawings always showcased ridiculously over-complicated machines meant for a simple task and are featured continuously in popular media including movies such as Back to the Future, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and many more.
“Rube Goldberg” is the only name included in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary as an adjective meaning: A complicated and funny way to complete a simple task. Rube Goldberg is also often referred to as “the grandfather of S.T.E.M.”
As we wrap up the school year, what better time to say thank you to all the teachers who go out of their way to inspire their students by offering them new and unique learning experiences. In fact, over the last 30 years, teachers have utilized the RUBE GOLDBERG MACHINE CONTEST® as a way to encourage and promote S.T.E.M. education.
Just recently, more than 350 student inventors from across the country competed in the historic 30th Anniversary RUBE
GOLDBERG MACHINE CONTEST®.
The live finals took place at Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry. This year’s challenge was to “Pour a Bowl of Cereal” and the Task Sponsor was General Mills. Students from elementary to college levels made this simple task ridiculously complicated and were judged on their teamwork, creativity and the spirit of “the grandfather of S.T.E.M.”
Many of these students would agree that their teachers were an integral part of their creations and the experience taught them to work hard, work together, all while having fun building their very own Rube Goldberg Machine.
Rube Goldberg lives on in pop culture and is referenced daily in both print and digital media. His name is searchable, hash-taggable, and at best viral. But nowhere is his legacy more celebrated than through the competitions that bear his name. For a look at some of this year’s machines visit www.rubegoldberg.com