The Nerds brand has announced the winners of the 2021 Rube Goldberg Machine Contest.
Open to the public, the contest asked participants to create a Rube Goldberg Machine, the crazy chain-reaction contraption that accomplishes a simple task in a complicated and hilarious way using everyday objects. The contest results, which requires participants to "Shake & Pour a Box of Nerds," were featured via a live press conference on Twitch over the weekend.
The news follows the September 2020 announcement in which the brand partnered with the virtual 2021 Rube Goldberg Machine Contest, including a commitment to sponsor up to 1,400 students/family groups to help spark creativity.
“The Nerds partnership with Rube Goldberg has truly helped inspire and provide educational entertainment during a time when many students and families need it most,” said Joey Rath, Nerds brand manager. “We’re so proud that in 30 days, we were able to sponsor 1,400 students and family members nationwide. We’re thrilled to see that, together with the Rube Goldberg team, we helped students and families tap into their creativity and learn something new while embracing their inner passions.”
140 teams participated in the virtual contest, with 27 winners selected across its four categories: Division Apprentice (ages 8-11), Division I (ages 11-14), Division II (ages 14-18) and a Family Division. The winners come from U.S. cities and towns coast-to-coast including Santa Barbara, CA, Fort Wayne, IN, and Miami, FL, and will be celebrated on Rube Goldberg’s website and social handles, as well as the Nerds Instagram page and TikTok through April 16.
Shake & Pour a Box of Nerds: The Winners
Division I (ages 11-14)
- 1st place: Physics Works, https://youtu.be/2ay62aZ80xA
- 2nd place: Nerd Navigators, https://youtu.be/11ORdpexv00
- 3rd place: Shakopee East Middle School, https://youtu.be/Ep1rY9QZMak
- Best final step: STEAM Train, https://youtu.be/ddX_8FXwtAE
- Legacy award: STEAM Train, https://youtu.be/Bl6ZL9q6zFU
- People’s choice: Mineola Movie Makers, https://youtu.be/L3_oAPWvY5Y
Division II (ages 14-18)
- 1st place: The NERD Degree, https://youtu.be/AHWrOnV5c0E
- 2nd place: MadCo Makers, https://youtu.be/Ta5A3nnvqxY
- 3rd place tie: Homestead High School, https://youtu.be/3o6Fz4OHULU
- 3rd place tie: The Day Off, https://youtu.be/iAwC7l2-hLQ
- Best use of a light source: MadCo Makers, https://youtu.be/dmN9Cc9Cvmo
- Best final step: The NERD Degree, https://youtu.be/K_QHCIWHZng
- Legacy award: Shenandoah Zeps, https://youtu.be/xfNrI7UuyBY
- People’s choice: Carrollton RECs, https://youtu.be/-OCF7jGlWU4
- 1st place: Spring Valley Springboks, https://youtu.be/VoGajqrJn30
- 2nd place: The Terrific Thomas Family, https://youtu.be/Vb5fpUxbrd
- 3rd place: The Orangeineers, https://youtu.be/3k1ORIRhLFs
- Best use of a light source: Spring Valley Springboks, https://youtu.be/NVZz1nwXQX4
- Best final step: Spring Valley Springboks, https://youtu.be/BDkOpgEEitQ
- Legacy award: Happy Family, https://youtu.be/in_DNhsILE0
- People’s choice: Happy Family, https://youtu.be/jvhljyStXIw
Division Apprentice (ages 8-11)
- Professor Butts’ Creative Spark: Makersville, https://youtu.be/wSs-SlgNVQw
- Rube Goldberg Spirit of Hilarious Invention: Rube-tastics, https://youtu.be/3ZaxnMzMcGw
- Rube Goldberg Teamwork Award: LaRue Co, https://youtu.be/wSs-SlgNVQw
- Best final step: Second Grade Experi-mentals, https://youtu.be/7mkjUW62VnQ
- Legacy award: LKE LIONS Gifted Education, https://youtu.be/HS_lqPXVG7c
- People’s choice: OTE Figments, https://youtu.be/qOaucpmJrBM
For this year’s task, as always, participants were challenged to use readily available, found materials to give each machine a story and sense of humor, with the new final step of shaking and pouring a box of Nerds. Eligible submissions were judged based on elements like humor/surprise, teamwork, construction/artistry, theme and creative use of everyday items.
“We feel grateful for such a special opportunity to bring this contest to life with Nerds,” said Jennifer George, the legacy director of Rube Goldberg, Inc., the not-for-profit organization that bears her grandfather’s name. “During such a challenging time for students, we are grateful to work with Nerds on a happy, colorful, joyous task that put a smile on everyone’s face.”