The Fay School
Rube Goldberg Machine Contest
Reminders and Addendum to the Rules
(in no particular order)
1) Please be sure to read all emails from Chris Schoberl responding to questions about the rules.
There has been a great deal of traffic over the past few months, and we would regret your team's
not having the benefit of this ongoing conversation. Jesse has done a great job archiving many
of these in the FAQ section of the webpage.
For other questions, contact Chris at email@example.com or at 508.826.0037 directly, or
email any of the following folks:
Beryl Rosenthal, firstname.lastname@example.org, General Questions about the Contest
Jon Bijur, email@example.com, Questions about Materials and Tools
John Glowa, firstname.lastname@example.org, Questions about Materials and Tools
Jesse Marsh, email@example.com, Questions about the Webpage
John Hamilton, firstname.lastname@example.org, Questions about Materials, Tools, and Competition Day
2) Be sure to thoroughly read through the Website in great detail:
http://web.mit.edu/museum/rubegoldbergcontest/2007/index.html, as well as to re-read the rules
so that your team is not disadvantaged by a point loss that could've been avoided (be certain, for
example, that you are meeting the "minimum number of steps" standard and that you can present
and run your machine in 15 minutes. These resulted in a disqualification and BIG point losses in
3) As a part of your team’s presentation to the judges, you MUST provide a Rube Goldberg style
drawing, including letters identifying each step, and corresponding text beneath the drawing
indicating the sequence of steps towards completing the task. For samples, visit
www.rubegoldberg.com, and click on the Rube Goldberg Gallery. To keep the playing field
level, this will be done on poster board or tabletop display foam board from which your team
Captain will speak; PowerPoints/laptops are not permitted.
4) This year, we want to encourage all of you to take your machines back to your schools. Aside
from a great deal of stuff for us to clean up last year, there was the missed educational
opportunity for you and your School beyond the students directly involved in the competition.
Please remove all machine parts and discard/recycle associated refuse prior to leaving for the
5) In response to my question, during Training Day at MIT, about how I can do a better job
accounting for all of the tools, one brave soul suggested the following, which I am implementing
As a part of the job description of each faculty coach, for which you are receiving a stipend
(albeit a modest one!), YOU are responsible for delivering to the designated spot (there will be a
conspicuously marked table on the floor), once the lunch horn sounds (prior to your going to
lunch), all tools, certifying that the kit is complete, and noting any malfunctioning or broken
tools. Failure to do so will result in Fay's withholding the coach stipend. In the case of tools
being used in your machine (which is OK) these need to be noted, and following judging,
returned to the tool table to complete your team's took kit.
The competition costs Fay about $1,000. a team/year, a portion of which goes towards replacing
lost tools. Frankly, I would rather put that money directly into program vs. replacing tools that
are inadvertently tossed in the garbage each year. Moreover, this is a good lesson to your
students about taking care of their tools and keeping a neat and orderly worksite, a good lesson
for any engineer to learn; your help with this will be greatly appreciated.
6) Please double-check directions to Fay at www.fayschool.org, and note the attached map for
purpose of parking, registration, planning your drop off, and getting to lunch. Kindly DO NOT
PARK in areas other than those designated on this map. Fay School is located at 48 Main Street,
Southborough, MA, 01772 if you are MapQuesting.
7) As an additional resource on the day of competition, Fay students will be acting as your
ambassadors (each Fay student will host several Rube teams in this capacity). The Fay
ambassador is your “go to” person for anything you need during the competition, and will greet
you in the morning, introduce themselves, deliver your team to its spot, and be available
throughout the day. They will be wearing a bright red Contest t-shirt.
8) Detailed Schedule for the Day
9:15-10:00am, Arrival and Registration. Your team is required to show up at the registration site
between 9:15 and 10:00am. Late teams, and/or teams with fewer than six members will lose two
points from Team Performance and Presentation to the Judges, Quality of Planning prior to
10:00-1:00pm, Building/Dry Runs (teams should schedule their own breaks, in the designated
break area, throughout the day according to need). Spectators will not be allowed on the gym
floor during the building phase. Spectators on the floor during this time may result in a team’s
disqualification. Spectators WILL be allowed down on the gym floor during judging. Please
encourage spectators, prior to the competition, to remain as quiet as possible during the judging
so that judges can work with these teams that have worked so hard on their machines (the noise
level, in the past, has been a problem). Adults accompanying student spectators will be held
responsible for the behavior of these students. Last year, a bathroom was vandalized by a
spectator, and the team this student came to watch was disallowed participation this year because
of that. Accordingly, it is recommended that you make an announcement to your school
community that such behavior WILL NOT BE TOLERATED. Finally, teams with more than
one coach in the building area will lose two points from Team Performance and Presentation to
the Judges, Quality of Planning prior to Contest, category.
1:00-1:45pm, ALL TEAMS EXIT COMPETITION VENUE FOR LUNCH. Last year, we had
some difficulty “encouraging” students to end the building phase. This year, we are asking for
the help of the team Captains and Coaches to move teams off the gym floor and to the Reinke
building for lunch, once time is called. TEAMS THAT CONTINUE TINKERING WITH
THEIR MACHINES FOLLOWING THE LUNCH HORN, MAY BE ASSESSED A HUMAN
2:00-4:00pm, Judging of Machines according to random judging order (look for information on
judging order, including approximate clock time your team will be judged) in your registration
packet on the day of competition). ONLY THE TEAMS BEING JUDGED AND “ON DECK”
TEAMS, TWO MINUTES PRIOR TO BEING JUDGED, MAY BE INSIDE THEIR AREAS.
ALL OTHER TEAMS ARE REQUIRED TO EITHER WATCH THE JUDGING OF THEIR
OPPONENTS’ MACHINES OR RETREAT TO THE BREAK AREA. TEAMS TINKERING
WITH THEIR MACHINES AT THIS POINT OF THE DAY MAY BE ASSESSED A HUMAN
INTERVENTION PENALTY. The 15 minute clock will start as soon as the lead judge reaches
your area, regardless of whether or not your team is ready, so please do not wander, and do keep
your eye on the clock.
4:00-4:30pm, Awards Presentation. Arthur Ganson will be our guest of honor again this year! If
you want to know more or get your kids jazzed about his presence, visit
4:30-5:00pm, Teams to breakdown machines and take them back to their schools, discard refuse,
recycle what is reusable, and return any other tools to the designated area.
9) Competitors are not permitted to leave the building once registered. Leaving the building may
result in that competitor's disqualification.
10) On the morning of the competition, bring all of your materials to Fay (whether you plan to
use it all, or not). We were sorry to see, last year, several teams that decided they needed
something… but realized that they had not planned on using it, so had left it home.
11) At the Registration Desk, you will be given several forms, some of which MUST be filled
out and submitted before your team goes to its spot. These include the Forms Notification letter
certifying that you have received all the forms we say you have received, such as the
Registration/Coach Certification Form, the Travel Voucher, the W-9, and the Photo Release for
each of your students. You will also receive forms to take with you, some to keep, some to
complete and return, including a PDP Certificate, Student Participation Certificates, Contact
Information for all Teams, a full Competitor's Packet describing the Competition, Materials, and
Rules, information about the Judges and the Judging process, and a Contest Evaluation. While
your students are building, you will have time to go through this packet in detail, BUT YOU
MUST COMPLETE THE CONTEST EVALUATION IF YOU WANT TO PARTICIPATE IN
THE CONTEST IN THE FUTURE, AND MAIL IT TO CHRIS SCHOBERL WITHIN TEN
DAYS FOLLOWING THE CONTEST (please do not try to hand it to Chris during the
competition, because he will lose it). Please also have your team don nametags (you too!),
which will be included at the Registration desk (Judges prefer to talk to students and
coaches using their names, and this helps them do just that).
12) In all matters of judging, the Chief Judge has the final say. Please have team Captains
respectfully redress any grievance with the Chief Judge. In all matters of rules interpretation, the
Chairman of the Steering Committee has the final word. All disputes will be followed up in
writing, to the team Coach, by the Steering Committee following the competition. In any matters
involving a tie, the Judge Arbiter will break the tie.
13) The order in which teams will be judged, team spots on the gym floor, and the judging group
assigned to particular teams, are assigned at random, and you will receive information regarding
these assignments in your Registration Packets.
14) Eye protection is required, and all members of the team, including the team Coach, will be
provided with goggles. When you are in the team’s building area, you ARE REQUIRED TO
WEAR EYE PROTECTION (your own or that provided). TEAM MEMBERS NOT WEARING
EYE PROTECTION MAY BE DISQUALIFIED FROM COMPETING AND WILL BE ASKED
TO LEAVE THE GYM FLOOR. First-aid equipment will be on the gym floor on this day, but
please feel free to bring your own, as well.
15) It is the responsibility of the team Coach and the team Captain to monitor the behavior of
his/her team members. Students acting in ways that endanger themselves or others, adversely
impact the quality of the experience for any competitors, act in an unsportsmanlike manner, or
break any school rules (their own or Fay’s) run the risk of being disqualified from the
16) Please review the task standards (weight, positioning of toothpaste, process of weighing the
final product, etc.) on the webpage and ensure that your scale works as per my 3/12 email (I have
not heard from 7 teams, though I expect they are still on break).
17) If the competition needs to be cancelled for any reason (act of God, power outage, etc.),
please reserve the next day, 4/15 as a probable reschedule date.
19) No team may "hoard" the glue guns. A maximum of one glue gun is to be in the possession
of a team or its members at any one time. Hoarding glue guns may result in your team's
forfeiting the use of this tool.
20) There will be plenty of water and snacks, but please feel free to bring your own, which we
will ask you to store in the break area. Also, coats, sweatshirts, etc. must also be stored in the
break area as they pose a hazard in the building areas. Lunch is provided for participants only,
and though spectators are free to join teams for lunch in the Reinke building, there is limited
space. There will not be enough chairs for everyone, so please allow adults to sit on the chairs,
and students to sit on the floor. Vegetarians will have a veggie option. Weather permitting,
taking lunch outside is advisable. Wherever you eat, please pick up after your team.
21) Coffee and Tea are adult beverages and are provided for Team Coaches ONLY. Danish and
fruit are also available, but only for the adults present. These items will be behind the
Registration area on the gym floor.
22) Following Registration, which you should move through as quickly as possible to avoid any
log jam here, follow the Ambassador to your spot and have your Team Captain quickly inventory
your tools. Any missing tools MUST BE REPORTED TO CHRIS SCHOBERL PRIOR TO
THE START OF BUILDING.
23) For your information, people to help on this day:
Maroon Polos: Steering Committee Members
Black and White Striped Referee Shirts: Judges
White T-Shirts: MIT Mentors, Team Members, Registration Personnel
Red T-Shirts: Student Ambassadors
24) There is NO RUBE GOLDBERG JUDGE'S LECTURE this year. We had planned on
having this on the evening of 4/13, but were unable to secure the speaker.
25) HAVE FUN, BE SAFE!