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NASEF, ‘Minecraft Education’ Bring Rube Goldberg Machine Contest to Digital

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The contest aims to provide free STEAM1 skills to students in grades 3-12.

Fans can now enter the Rube Goldberg Machine Contest using “Minecraft.” The North America Scholastic Esports Federation (NASEF) has teamed up with Rube Goldberg and Minecraft Education so that students can devise a digital contraption to complete a simple task in the wackiest and overly complicated way possible.

“My grandfather, Rube Goldberg, was a cartoonist who drew wonderfully elaborate machines and inspired a movement to envision the craziest machine that could complete the simplest task,” says Jennifer George, legacy director, Rube Goldberg. “We’re thrilled to partner with NASEF in order to help kids to use computers to design equally creative contraptions.”

In honor of the new partnership, Rube Goldberg is offering the first ever digital Rube Goldberg Machine Contest. Students in grades 3-12 will have an opportunity to improve their digital and STEAM1 skills.

Additionally, NASEF will offer free entry into the contest and free use of Minecraft Education Edition for all participants. Educators, whether teachers or family members, will receive free guides and instruction to make this a productive event.

NASEF leverages youth interest in esports and gaming to teach career and life skills. As with all of its programs, it is providing free participation in order to offer equal access to this learning opportunity for all students.

“This year, people are scrambling to find engaging programs for kids, and this contest offers a valuable mix of play and learning,” says Gerald Solomon, founder, NASEF and executive director, Samueli Foundation, whose philanthropy is bringing this educational opportunity to students completely free. “There are many ways to express creativity and exercise principles of engineering and technology in today’s digital world. This exciting competition will provide a place to practice those important skills while competing for prizes.”

NASEF will offer a series of training sessions for educators to learn teaching principles for each challenge. Six skill-building mini-challenges utilizing Minecraft Education Edition will be conducted this fall. Winners will be chosen by raffle. In spring 2021, students will combine those machines to create elaborate Rube Goldberg Machines in a larger-scale competition.

NASEF will also host related Beyond the Game challenges for students to compete in additional areas such as cartooning, graphic design, social media, storytelling and engineering.

See NASEF.org/Learning/Rube-Goldberg for contest details.

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