Batesville, Indiana – Genesis: Pathways to Success (GPS), the STEM initiative of Ripley County Community Foundation, along with Kids Discovery Factory and Jac-Cen-Del Community School Corporation will host the 6th Annual Regional Rube Goldberg Machine Contest on Sat., March 4, 2017, at 10 a.m. at Jac-Cen-Del Elementary School.

A Rube Goldberg Machine Contest (RGMC) is an event where students of all ages compete to imagine, design and create complicated machines in a fun and competitive forum. The competitions encourage teamwork and out-of-the-box problem solving in a fresh learning environment and level playing field.

This year’s contest will see four Division I (middle school) and eight Division II (high school) teams competing for the regional title, which will qualify a team in each division to compete in the Rube Goldberg Machine Contest Finals in hopes of becoming the national champion.

“This contest has become a highlight of the year for lots of students in our area – and for me!” Cheryll Obendorf, GPS executive director, said. “What makes it so much fun is that all students need to compete in an RGMC is a pile of junk and a great imagination! We’re absolutely thrilled to have so many teams registered this year.”

In addition to the machine contest, Kids Discovery Factory will have mobile exhibits on hand for younger children to experience hands-on STEM exploration.

The public is welcome to attend this family-friendly, exciting competition. Thanks to the generosity of many local sponsors, the event is free.

The schools competing in this year’s Rube Goldberg Machine Contest include St. Louis School, Milan Middle School, South Ripley Junior High School, Batesville Middle School, Jac-Cen-Del High School, Switzerland County High School, Oldenburg Academy, Batesville High School Teams 1 and 2, Ripley County Engineering Academy, Greenwood High School and Milan High School.

“The Rube Goldberg Machine Contest provides students with an opportunity to practice their critical thinking and problem solving skills in science, technology, engineering and mathematics-based concepts. Students apply what they learn in a hands-on, engaging, and challenging competition that allows for freedom of design and innovation. In my experience, students don’t see this competition as a lot work, they see it as a lot of fun,” said Craig Hughes, coach of one of Batesville High School’s teams.


This year’s sponsors include Batesville Tool & Die, Elgin Fastener Group, Honda Manufacturing of Indiana, German American Bank, Duke Energy, Franklin County Community Foundation, Ripley County Community Foundation and Friendship State Bank.

“As a sponsor of this event, it allows us to witness firsthand the camaraderie, passion and skills displayed by local young minds,” Marc Laker of Batesville Tool and Die said. “These are skills that directly relate to our manufacturing environment, so we are pleased to know that our local schools are doing an excellent job to promote and develop these talents.”

The first national Rube Goldberg Machine Contest was launched in 1988. Nationwide television, radio and printed media attention promotes the growth of the contest to make it bigger and better each year.

Genesis: Pathways to Success is an initiative of the Ripley County Community Foundation dedicated to empowering students to succeed in STEM by developing programs in areas such as engineering, agriculture, health science and technology as well as by supporting events that encourage students to apply curious minds and critical thinking skills to real-world opportunities. GPS generates ongoing and meaningful dialogue and collaboration to prepare a talent pipeline for a globally dynamic marketplace. For additional information, please visit

Kids Discovery Factory’s vision is to establish a vibrant STEAM discovery center with engaging exhibits and programs to inspire families and school groups throughout Southeastern Indiana to explore, create and innovate. The discovery center will be a truly unique destination to benefit children from birth to 14 years old. For more information, please visit

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