June 23, 2024


El Chicano, Colton Courier, Rialto Record

Three RUSD schools claim 1st place at Rube-A-Thon

2 min read

Three Rialto Unified School District teams earned first place at the first-ever Rube-A-Thon Competition at Rialto High School on February 4. Rialto High School (pictured top), Kucera Middle School (pictured bottom left), and Myers Elementary School (pictured bottom right) each claim first place in the competition which featured more than 20 schools from the area.

A trio of Rialto Unified School District teams earned first place at the first-ever Rube-A-Thon Competition at Rialto High School on February 4.

In a history-making competition, teams from Myers Elementary School, Kucera Middle School, and Rialto High School each claimed first place and stood out among a tough field of competitors that included schools from San Bernardino City Unified, Chaffey Joint Union, Colton Joint Union, Big Bear, and Ontario-Montclair School Districts.

Rialto HS MESA teacher Mikal Thompson helped coordinate the event under a new format for Rube Goldberg competitions. Unlike traditional Rube Goldberg competitions where machines are built, tested, and perfected first and then assembled at the competition site, teams come to this competition with nothing in hand. The materials, the tools, and even the final task were revealed at the event. Teams had to design, build and be ready to test their machine for judges. They also created a theme and an imaginative story to tell the tale of their machine.

Rube Goldberg competitions are named after the late Reuben Goldberg, who is best known for his popular cartoons depicting complicated gadgets performing simple tasks in indirect, convoluted ways. He is the inspiration for international competitions known as Rube Goldberg Machine Contests, which challenge participants to create a complicated machine to perform a simple task.

After the competition wrapped, Thompson was beaming with pride for hosting a successful event and for the success of RUSD schools.

“We were really excited about the turnout we had,” Thompson said. “The students were thrilled and parents were excited to watch them succeed. I am super excited that our Rialto Unified School District was well-represented today with first-place finishes for elementary, middle, and high school. We got a lot of positive feedback.”

Jennifer George, National Director of the Rube Goldberg Institute and Rube Goldberg’s granddaughter traveled from New York and presented the awards to students. She was impressed with their final products.  

“It was beyond all our expectations,” George said. “The builds we saw were amazing, and the students were so excited.”


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