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This year’s Rube Goldberg Machine Contest task is to put toothpaste on a toothbrush.
January 17, 2024
The Rube Goldberg Institute (RGI) has announced Crest and Oral-B as the task sponsors for its 2024 Rube Goldberg Machine Contest. To celebrate 35 years of competitions, the Rube Goldberg Machine Contest (RGMC) is returning to its first task from 1988, “Put Toothpaste on a Toothbrush,” and teaming up with two brands in oral health care to encourage students to use their creativity to help solve everyday challenges. In parallel, they aim to educate students on the importance of critical oral health practices, such as tooth brushing – a key component of Crest and Oral-B’s #ClosingAmericasSmileGap initiative. The initiative was launched in 2021 to address the reality that many kids in underserved communities don’t have access to the oral care they need. The partnership was brokered by Rube Goldberg’s exclusive licensing and partnership agency, Brand Central.
“I use Crest,” says Jennifer George, Rube’s granddaughter and director, The Rube Goldberg Institute. “My parents used Crest. And my grandparents used Crest. So, this year’s RGMC task sponsor is literally Rube-approved. We’re so excited to celebrate 35 years of Rube Goldberg Machine Contests with Crest and Oral-B as our sponsors. Both sponsors align with our core mission: equity and access in teaching our kids to think, not just about problem-solving but also about taking care of their teeth. The institute was founded on the idea that every young person deserves a seat at the table when it comes to STEM and art education. All you need is a pile of junk and a great imagination to build an award-winning RGM. Every year, we see kids from Title 1 schools in underserved communities compete side-by-side with their private school counterparts. Here, they meet on a level playing field, probably for the first time ever.”
For the contest, there are four divisions: Apprentice (lower school), Division I (middle school), Division II (high school) and Division III (college). Each division has rules that get progressively harder as the kids age. Live regional contests are held across the U.S. January through March 2024, and winning teams and their machines are invited to compete at the National Finals, held at Purdue University April 6. Winners of the National Competition receive trophies, prize money and garner press attention. The contests are free, and details can be found at Rubegoldberg.org.
“We at Crest and Oral-B remain committed to advancing oral health innovation in every possible way, so our partnership with The Rube Goldberg Institute was an obvious choice,” says Sujay Wasan, senior vice president, NA Oral Care. “Connecting with students from across the nation and witnessing their inventive approaches to getting toothpaste onto a toothbrush, reinforces the significant role that innovation can play in broadening oral health education and access, which are core principles for Crest and Oral-B.”
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