Students: sign up for the Philadelphia Rube Goldberg competition - Philly


Oct. 6, 2014 10:01 am

Students: sign up for the Philadelphia Rube Goldberg competition

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

A Rube Goldberg machine.

(Photo by Flickr user Jeff Kubina, used under a Creative Commons license)

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
People: Josh Kopelman

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