Winners Announced! Rube Goldberg Bar Of Soap Video Challenge

NEW YORK—Rube Goldberg, Inc. has announced the winners of the Rube Goldberg Bar of Soap Video Challenge. The contest, which was open to the public, drew 434 entries from 39 states and 12 countries. Rube Goldberg Machines, the crazy chain-reaction contraptions that accomplish simple tasks in complicated and hilarious ways using everyday objects, have gained in popularity during the pandemic.

Announced in March after school closings, the contest was conceived to provide a creative, hands-on project that the entire family could do together at home.  All ages were invited to participate by building a Rube Goldberg Machine that in 10-20 steps, dropped a bar of soap into someone’s hands. Teams consisted of any number of shelter-in-place/quarantined family groups or singles.

“We were thrilled to see the overwhelming and international response to our challenge — hundreds of submissions that were so creative, so extraordinarily clever, they would have made my grandfather proud,” said Jennifer George, Rube Goldberg’s granddaughter and the Legacy Director of Rube Goldberg, Inc. “They also, in the aggregate, send the right message: to wash your hands. And getting this message across  in a fun and educational way that requires nothing more than family teamwork, a pile of junk and a great imagination, is pure Rube.”


The best of the best  most complex, maximum steps and everyday objects  
Round Family, Ontario, Canada

Youngest to oldest or large groups, fun theme or narrative, everyone’s involved
Orrego Family, West Virginia

Best use of an animal in a transfer of energy or multiple transfers of energy
Brian Silverman, Maryland

Funniest: a blooper run or parody  and Rube Goldberg Machines that don’t work or complete the task
Issac Cravitz, California

The top ten in the Grand Prize category are open to the public at
Chanelle Roces, California

The winning videos can also be viewed at and on The winners were announced on Sunday, June 7, on YouTube in a celebration of the 35th anniversary of the cult classic film “The Goonies,” which famously features the Truffle Shuffle Rube Goldberg machine.

All entrants: will receive a special Rube Goldberg bar of soap created by Beekman 1802 from goat milk and scented like vanilla whipped cream, Rube’s favorite dessert. They will also receive a second bar of soap to gift to a first responder or local hero in their community.

All five winners: will receive an engraved trophy, Rube Goldberg Family Swag Bags, which include: RG backpacks, RG S’Well water bottles, RG light-up beanies, a signed copy of Rube Goldberg’s Simple Normal Humdrum School Day, Mad-Libs, PPC reusable steel straws and soap for a year from Beekman 1802.

“My grandfather had a lot of punk spirit. He knew how to get from “A” to “B” using every letter in the alphabet,” noted Jennifer George. “It takes a lot of perseverance and creativity to conceive and construct a great Rube Goldberg Machine—which is why I always say that the Rube Goldberg Machine builders of today are the problem solvers of tomorrow.  And boy do we need them!”

Parents are encouraged to use as a resource to help them provide educational, project-based learning activities for their children at home.

Due to the overwhelming success of the Bar of Soap contest, Rube Goldberg, Inc. is announcing its summer challenge: Water a Plant.” The contest is open to the general public, worldwide. All ages are invited to participate in building a Rube Goldberg Machine that in 10-20 steps will “Water a Plant.” Teams can consist of any number of family groups or singles. The machine should be filmed horizontally in one video pass that clearly shows each step of the unedited, working run of the machine. Additionally, all team members should introduce themselves and tell us where they’re from.

Seven ways to win: Animal Award, Family Fun Award, Close But No Cigar Award, Grand Prize, People’s Choice and two additional Sponsored Awards: Best Use of a Slinky (sponsored by Slinky) and Best Use of a Light Source (sponsored by LEDvance.) Video submissions must be uploaded to YouTube, marked “Not Private” and entered as part of the submission form on The deadline for submissions is noon on Friday, August 7, 2020.

All seven winners: will receive an engraved trophy, a $200 Visa gift card, Rube Goldberg Family Swag Bags, which include: RG backpacks, RG S’Well water bottles, RG light-up beanies, a signed copy of Rube Goldberg’s Simple Normal Humdrum School Day, Mad-Libs, PPC reusable steel straws and soap for a year from Beekman 1802.

“Let’s plant the seeds of change,” said Jennifer George. “We are so thrilled to be partnered with the Hudson Valley Seed Company who will be sending every entrant to the Summer Challenge a special pack of organic “R(h)ube(arb) Chard” seeds to plant, water and grow.”

Winners of the Rube Goldberg Summer Video Challenge will be announced in mid-August. The Annual Rube Goldberg Machine Contest™, for student teams in three different divisions ages 8-18 and in its 33rd year, announce its 2021 task at the same time. For more information, go to

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In celebration of the contest, Rube Goldberg, Inc. has partnered with Beekman 1802—a farm fresh, good-for-you, bath, body and skincare company. As a gift for participating, 1,000 U.S. entrants will receive one of the brand’s Goat Milk soaps in Whipped Cream (Rube Goldberg’s favorite food). The limited edition soap is enriched with nourishing goat milk and Beekman 1802’s number one ingredient, kindness, and wrapped in specially-designed paper featuring a Rube Goldberg invention cartoon. Together, they will also launch the #getonegiftone4rube campaign where entrants may request a second bar of soap to gift to a specific first responder, teacher, or other hero in their community, celebrating and acknowledging those on the frontline of Covid-19. More information is available at

Rube Goldberg, Inc. is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 whose focus is on STEM/STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) education as seen through the lens and art of Rube Goldberg (1883-1970). The Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist is best known for his hilariously over-complex “invention cartons,” which were syndicated in hundreds of newspapers nationwide for much of the last century. It is estimated that he created a staggering 50,000 cartoons in his lifetime. Rube Goldberg is the only person ever to be listed in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary as an adjective. Annual competitions, traveling museum exhibitions, books, licensing, merchandising, and entertainment opportunities continue to grow and enhance the brand. Follow Rube Goldberg on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Use hashtags #rubegoldbergmachine and #rubetothetrescue2020.

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