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Rube plays Tee-Ball

Rube plays Tee-Ball

Your challenge is to create Rube Goldberg machine that can knock a ball off a Tee.

A Rube Goldberg machine is a complex device with multiple parts that can complete a simple task. After the device is set up, it is triggered so that eventually after a number of steps, the it will complete the final task.


You will have nine minutes to solve this problem. You may ask the judge questions at any time; however, time will continue.

You will be scored at the end of eight minutes or when the team asks to be scored.


For Team:

1 golf ball

3 paper cups, 5 dominos, 4 straws, 5 marbles, 5 rubber bands

3 pins, 10 mailing labels, 5 popsicle sticks, 1 matchbox car

For Judge:

A tennis ball

A cardboard tube from a toilet roll

Duct tape


Duct tape the tube, standing upright, to one end of a table. Set the tennis ball on top of it.

  1. You may use only the materials provided in your solution.

  2. When the team decides to test their machine for score, they will inform the judges, and one team member will set off the machine by releasing the golf ball.

  3. When testing the machine for score, team members may not touch the machine during the interval between the releasing of the golf ball and the tipping of the tennis ball. If the team touches the machine while it is operating, they must restart the attempt.

  4. You may attempt to run the machine as many times as you wish; however, only the last attempt will be scored.


20 points if the machine successfully knocks the tennis ball off of the tube:

1-40 points for the complexity of the machine:

1-20 points for the percentage of the materials used (100% = 20pts):

1-20 points for how well the team works together


Would it have been better to use all the materials or focus on certain ones?

Was there adequate complexity?

Did the team use materials effectively?

Did the team manage time well?

What would you do differently if you did it again?

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