Diversity & Inclusion
Engineering / Events / STEM / Technology

Students: sign up for the Philadelphia Rube Goldberg competition

The contest challenges student teams to build the most complicated chalkboard-erasing contraption possible.

Correction: Victor Fiorillo plays the piano for the Martha Graham Cracker Cabaret, not the drums. (10/6/14, 11:38 a.m.)

It’s a battle to create the best Rube Goldberg machine that can erase a chalkboard.

The Philadelphia Rube Goldberg Machine Contest, to be held March 14, is the first of its kind in the city and is backed by big players in the tech scene, like First Round Capital’s Josh Kopelman and Comcast. Founded and run by Philadelphia Magazine reporter (and Martha Graham Cracker Cabaret pianist) Victor Fiorillo, the winners of the contest will win $1,000 and go on to the national competition.

Both high school and college teams are eligible to make extra-complicated chalkboard-erasing contraptions.


It costs $150 to register but the Philly Rube Goldberg competition is reimbursing the first ten teams to sign up (that offer is still on the table, as ten teams haven’t signed up yet, Fiorillo told us).

Middle school teams can also participate — for free — but there is no national competition for them to go on to.

And, of course, if we’re talking about Rube Goldbergs in Philly, we have to mention Drexel’s recent attempt to build the biggest one in the world.

Companies: Comcast

Before you go...

Please consider supporting Technical.ly to keep our independent journalism strong. Unlike most business-focused media outlets, we don’t have a paywall. Instead, we count on your personal and organizational support.

Our services Preferred partners The journalism fund

Join our growing Slack community

Join 5,000 tech professionals and entrepreneurs in our community Slack today!


Former employees give a look inside LifeBrand’s financial turmoil leading up to layoffs

‘Racist rhetoric leads to attacks’: Asian Americans and lawsuit plaintiffs take on the TikTok ban

A local meetup group is using Amazon’s cybersecurity conference in Philly to raise money for tech nonprofits

Philly is ranked one of the world’s best places to found a startup, climbing to No. 25 globally

Technically Media