Rube Goldberg Machine competition

Calling all kids (and kids at heart)! We challenge you to create your own Rube Goldberg machines at home - and the more creative and wacky the better.

A Rube Goldberg machine is intentionally designed to perform a simple task in an indirect and overly complicated way.

Your mission is to use household items to water a plant in the most indirect and overly complicated way possible.

Take a video of your creation in action. Then submit it for the chance to win a $25 Uber Eats gift card (T&Cs apply).


How to enter

You can email your video to or tag us in your post on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram!

You have until 12pm Friday 8 May AEST to submit your plant watering machine.

We will drop a new Rube Goldberg challenge every fortnight, so keep an eye on our website and social feeds for more fun!


After some inspiration?

Check out Tinker Lab for some ideas to get started.

How it works

  • Contestants can enter the competition by either: tagging the College in a post on social media or submitting a video by email.
  • Entries will be judged by a panel. We’ll be taking into account the following criteria: creativity of design, ability to complete designated task, technical engineering or computing skills used, and variety of materials used.
  • The winning entrant/s will be notified via reply email or direct message on social media.

This is a home-based activity. Please observe social distancing regulations and all other restrictions in place in your state/territory.



Each fortnight, the entries will be reviewed by a panel of judges at the College.

The winning entry for each challenge will receive a $25 UberEats voucher sent to their email.


Terms and conditions

  1. 'The College’ refers to The Australian National University College of Engineering and Computer Science (ABN: 52 234 063 906).
  2. Entry to the competition is available via social media, by tagging the College (@anucecs) on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or by emailing the video to If participating via social media, it is the entrants’ responsibility to check the post privacy or permission settings to allow judges to view.
  3. Information on how to enter the Competition forms part of these Terms and Conditions.
  4. Entry is open to all Australian residents.
  5. There is no entry fee for the competition.
  6. There is (1) prize available for the best entry for each Rube Goldberg challenge:
    1. First prize is a $25 Uber Eats gift card. The gift card will be purchased by the College and delivered to the winning entrant via email.
    2. All prize values are in Australian Dollars (AUD).
  7. The College reserves the right to modify or remove any prizes if required, or not to award a prize.
  8. The Prize must be taken as stated and no compensation will be payable if the Prize Winner is unable to use the prize as stated. The prize is not transferable to another person or exchangeable for other goods and services and cannot be redeemed as cash.
  9. The entrant will be solely responsible for any costs or taxes incurred as part of the competition, or claiming of the prize, including but not limited to any taxes.
  10. Only one entry is allowed per person per challenge.
  11. By entering the competition, you declare that the submitted work is entirely your own.
  12. The College reserves the right to withdraw applications at any stage for any reason determined appropriate.
  13. The College reserves the right to extend or modify the closing date.
  14. Submissions will be marked by a panel of judges chosen by the College.
  15. The College reserves the right to determine the final outcome of the competition, and to name and order winners and prizes.
  16. By entering the competition, the entrant gives permission for the College to use the winner’s name, likeness, and work for promotional purposes, and other purposes deemed appropriate.
  17. Participants agree the College and sponsoring entities are not liable for any damages or losses arising from the competition.
  18. The College collects personal information about you to enable you to participate in this promotion. All submitted work is subject to The Australian National University Privacy Policy.
  19. Incomprehensible and incomplete entries will be deemed invalid.
  20. The College reserves the right to verify the validity of entries and to disqualify any entry which, in the opinion of the College, includes objectionable content, profanity, potentially insulting, inflammatory or defamatory statements, disqualify any entrant who tampers with the entry process, who submits an entry that is not in accordance with these terms and conditions of entry or who has, in the opinion of the College, engaged in conduct in entering the promotion which is fraudulent, misleading, deceptive or generally damaging to the goodwill or reputation of the promotion and/or the College. The College reserves the right to disqualify a winner if the College becomes aware that the winner and/or the winner’s entry is of a type described in this clause.
  21. The College accepts no responsibility for any late, lost or misdirected entries including delays in the completion of tasks due to technical disruptions, network congestion or for any other reason.
  22. The College decision is final and will not enter into correspondence regarding the result or winning entries.
  23. In the case of the intervention of any outside act, agent or event which prevents or significantly hinders the College’s ability to proceed with the competition on the dates and in the manner described in these terms and conditions, including but not limited to vandalism, power failures, tempests, natural disasters, acts of God, civil unrest, strike, war, act of terrorism, the College may in its absolute discretion cancel the competition and recommence it from the start on the same conditions, subject to any directions given under State Regulation.
  24. The College reserves the right in its sole discretion to disqualify any individual they believe has breached any of these conditions, or engaged in any unlawful or other improper misconduct calculated to jeopardise the fair and proper conduct of the promotion.

Date & time

1pm 24 Apr – 12pm 8 May 2020


Updated:  10 August 2021/Responsible Officer:  Dean, CECS/Page Contact:  CECS Marketing