The iconic Slinky is making its way to thousands of classrooms across the US this autumn as an official sponsor of the 2019-2020 Rube Goldberg Machine Contest.
The partnership, formed between the Slinky brand owner Alex Brands and Rube Goldberg, will celebrate not only the engineers behind both concepts – the Slinky and the Rube Goldberg Machine – but also kids’ STEM learning, creativity and problem solving.
Next month, thousands of students across America will use Slinky in designing their own Rube Goldberg Machines. Teams compete in three different divisions – Apprentice (ages eight to 11), Division I (ages 11 to 14), and Division II (ages 14 to 18). Each must design and build a unique machine that completes the same “simple” task — and incorporates a Slinky as a transfer of energy step somewhere along the way.
The task for the Rube Goldberg Machine Contest 2020 is “turn off a light”. Slinky, a RGMC National Task Sponsor, will be part of the judging algorithm for this year’s competition and an award will be given at Finals to the team that has creatively achieved the “Best Use of Slinky” in its machine.
The winning team in each division will be announced in April 2020.
“Slinky celebrates a tradition of timeless entertainment and is an unassuming product that can be used in ingenious ways. And, everyone knows it’s Slinky,” said Laurie Conway, vice president of marketing, Alex Brands. “Aligning with an organisation with a similar focus and roots in engineering seemed like the perfect way to kick off Slinky’s 75th anniversary in 2020.”
Jennifr George, legacy director at RGI, and granddaughter of Rube Goldberg, added: “A Rube Goldberg machine is a crazy chain-reaction contraption that accomplishes a simple task in the most overly complicated and funniest way possible.
“Slinky is a perfect partner for us and opens up a world of possibilities for creative transfers of energy in the design of each machine. We couldn’t be more excited to see the imaginative ways that students use Slinky in this year’s competition.”
Invented by Richard and Betty James, the quintessential Slinky toy has been an icon of classic fun for decades. Through the years, kids, parents and grandparents alike have enjoyed the mesmerising and magical toy full of motion, invoked by the original walking spring toy.
In 2000, Slinky was inducted into the Toy Hall of Fame and TIME Magazine named it as one of the All-Time 100 Greatest Toys. Looking ahead to 2020, Slinky will have even more to celebrate with its 75th Anniversary and new product introductions.