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  • Writer's pictureBaker Institute Team

Rube Goldberg Competition 2020

Traditionally in October, The Baker Institute has held an event celebrating creativity and innovation. This event, Creativate, gave students the chance to show off their creativity by displaying their projects, businesses, and side hustles to the campus community. We didn’t want to lose this opportunity due to COVID-19. Distance and remote learning doesn’t stop creativity and innovation, it merely changes it. We want to see how the Lehigh community could tap into their creativity with a Rube Goldberg machine competition -- with an upcycling twist! 

Reuben (Rube) Goldberg was a 20th century cartoonist, engineer and inventor. He became famous for creating cartoons and inventions that solved simple tasks, such as closing a door,  through absurdly complicated and convoluted machines. Today, students compete in Rube Goldberg competitions across the United States. A search for “Rube Goldberg” on YouTube yields 461,000 videos ranging from complete disaster to astonishing success. We tested a Rube contest this summer during the Hatchery to fabulous results:

This competition has been designed to challenge teams to create the most innovative and creative Rube Goldberg machine, with the best submission winning $1,000 for the Lehigh student organization of its choice. Teams will take objects from around their house - upcycled materials like old boxes earn extra points - and individually design Rube Goldberg reactions to accomplish a task. While teams will submit one video, each member must execute their reactions separately from their team, editing the video to show one complete machine. This is the ultimate social-distancing challenge - how to build a task-accomplishing machine while physically separated. 

The contest launches October 1 and runs until November 2. Visit our Creativate website for all the rules and information!

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