CHICAGO, April 13, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- NERDS®, the popular candy brand that celebrates being better together, has announced the winners of the 2021 Rube Goldberg Machine Contest. Open to the public, the contest asked participants to create a Rube Goldberg Machine, the crazy chain-reaction contraption that accomplishes a simple tasks in complicated and hilarious way using everyday objects. The contest results, which requires participants to "Shake & Pour a Box of NERDS," were featured via a live press conference on Twitch over the weekend.
The news follows the September 2020 announcement in which the brand partnered with the virtual 2021 Rube Goldberg Machine Contest, including a commitment to sponsor up to 1,400 students/family groups to help spark creativity.
"The NERDS partnership with Rube Goldberg has truly helped inspire and provide educational entertainment during a time when many students and families need it most. We're so proud that in 30 days, we were able to sponsor 1,400 students and family members nationwide," said Joey Rath, NERDS Brand Manager. "We're thrilled to see that, together with the Rube Goldberg team, we helped students and families tap into their creativity and learn something new while embracing their inner passions."
140 teams participated in the virtual contest, with 27 winners selected across its four categories: Division Apprentice (ages 8-11), Division I (ages 11-14), Division II (ages 14-18) and a Family Division. The winners come from U.S. cities and towns coast-to-coast including Santa Barbara, CA, Fort Wayne, IN, and Miami, FL, and will be celebrated on Rube Goldberg's website and social handles, as well as the NERDS Instagram page and TikTok through April 16.
Shake & Pour a Box of NERDS: The Winners
Division I (ages 11-14)
- 1st place: Physics Works, https://youtu.be/2ay62aZ80xA
- 2nd place: Nerd Navigators, https://youtu.be/11ORdpexv00
- 3rd place: Shakopee East Middle School, https://youtu.be/Ep1rY9QZMak
- Best final step: STEAM Train, https://youtu.be/ddX_8FXwtAE
- Legacy award: STEAM Train,https://youtu.be/Bl6ZL9q6zFU
- People's choice: Mineola Movie Makers, https://youtu.be/L3_oAPWvY5Y
Division II (ages 14-18)
- 1st place: The NERD Degree, https://youtu.be/AHWrOnV5c0E
- 2nd place: MadCo Makers, https://youtu.be/Ta5A3nnvqxY
- 3rd place tie: Homestead High School, https://youtu.be/3o6Fz4OHULU
- 3rd place tie: The Day Off, https://youtu.be/iAwC7l2-hLQ
- Best use of a light source: MadCo Makers, https://youtu.be/dmN9Cc9Cvmo
- Best final step: The NERD Degree, https://youtu.be/K_QHCIWHZng
- Legacy award: Shenandoah Zeps, https://youtu.be/xfNrI7UuyBY
- People's choice: Carrollton RECs, https://youtu.be/-OCF7jGlWU4
- 1st place: Spring Valley Springboks, https://youtu.be/VoGajqrJn30
- 2nd place: The Terrific Thomas Family, https://youtu.be/Vb5fpUxbrds
- 3rd place: The Orangeineers, https://youtu.be/3k1ORIRhLFs
- Best use of a light source: Spring Valley Springboks, https://youtu.be/NVZz1nwXQX4
- Best final step: Spring Valley Springboks, https://youtu.be/BDkOpgEEitQ
- Legacy award: Happy Family, https://youtu.be/in_DNhsILE0
- People's choice: Happy Family, https://youtu.be/jvhljyStXIw
Division Apprentice (ages 8-11)
- Professor Butts' Creative Spark: Makersville, https://youtu.be/wSs-SlgNVQw
- Rube Goldberg Spirit of Hilarious Invention: Rube-tastics, https://youtu.be/3ZaxnMzMcGw
- Rube Goldberg Teamwork Award: LaRue Co, https://youtu.be/wSs-SlgNVQw
- Best final step: Second Grade Experi-mentals, https://youtu.be/7mkjUW62VnQ
- Legacy award: LKE LIONS Gifted Education, https://youtu.be/HS_lqPXVG7c
- People's choice: OTE Figments, https://youtu.be/qOaucpmJrBM
How the Winners Were Selected
For this year's task, as always, participants were challenged to use readily available, found materials to give each machine a story and sense of humor, with the new final step of shaking and pouring a box of NERDS. Eligible submissions were judged based on elements like humor/surprise, teamwork, construction/artistry, theme and creative use of everyday items.
"We feel grateful for such a special opportunity to bring this contest to life with NERDS," said Jennifer George, the Legacy Director of Rube Goldberg, Inc., the not-for-profit organization that bears her grandfather's name. "During such a challenging time for students, we are grateful to work with NERDS on a happy, colorful, joyous task that put a smile on everyone's face."
The Power of Teamwork: Proving NERDS are Better Together
NERDS, one of Ferrara's fastest growing brands, is committed to celebrating ingenuity and bringing people together. The brand's stories feature six different colors of NERDS characters who each represent a unique personality: Curiosity, Creativity, Spontaneity, Deep Thinking, Logic and Humor. The six personalities are always better together – much like how a Rube Goldberg machine works better when designed by teammates who combine their unique talents to take on the challenge ahead.
About Rube Goldberg
Rube Goldberg (1883-1970) was a Pulitzer-Prize-winning cartoonist best known for his comical chain reaction "invention cartoons," which were published in the weekly comics in hundreds of newspapers. The overwhelming popularity of these drawings made him and his cartoons a cultural icon, an adjective in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary and a term which is invoked daily in American media and by thousands of individuals. The concept behind all Rube Goldberg invention cartoons – complicated and funny ways to accomplish simple tasks – is responded to universally. Now in their 33rd year, the beloved Rube Goldberg Machine contests, which started as a small event in 1988, are an annual nationwide competition, welcoming teams from around the U.S. to celebrate his legacy. In addition to the annual competitions, Rube Goldberg, Inc. – a not-for-profit whose focus is on STEM/STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) – offers traveling museum exhibitions, books, licensing, merchandising, customized education curriculum, and entertainment opportunities, which continue to grow and enhance the brand. Follow Rube Goldberg on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Use hashtag #rubegoldbergmachine. To watch one of our favorite examples of a Rube Goldberg Machine, click here.
NERDS is the playful and fun-to-eat candy with a variety of delicious, crunchy, chewy and gummy options: Original NERDS including the iconic dual-flavored box, NERDS Ropes, Big Chewy NERDS… and now NERDS Gummy Clusters. The original iconic box couples two complementary flavors with dual chambers, allowing candy lovers to pour out perfectly imperfect pieces of pure delight. NERDS Ropes give fans a chewy, fruity string packed with crunchy, sweet NERDS, and Big Chewy NERDS and Sour Big Chewy NERDS have a crunch that surrounds a chewy center. The new NERDS Gummy Clusters have tangy, crunchy, mini NERDS clustered around a sweet gummy center for a poppable tasty bite. To find a retailer near you, and to learn more about the NERDS product portfolio, visit www.nerdscandy.com and follow @NerdsCandy on Facebook, Instagram and TikTok.
Ferrara, a company related to The Ferrero Group, is an emerging powerhouse in the North American confections and sweet snacking categories. A passionate team of nearly 6,000 employees works together to share delight in every bite through leading brands that have shaped the industry for more than 100 years. Our diverse portfolio of nearly 35 brands includes SweeTARTS®, Trolli®, Brach's®, Black Forest® and NERDS®, along with iconic favorites like Lemonhead®, Red Hots® and Now and Later®. Ferrara also manages the Keebler® and Famous Amos® businesses for The Ferrero Group. Headquartered in Chicago, Ferrara has an operational network of 20 locations in North America that includes manufacturing, distribution and R&D facilities. Learn more at www.ferrarausa.com.
Courtney Pischke, Ferrara
Kevin Kearney, Golin