Overly Complicated Challenge

Overly Complicated Challenge
Syracuse University

Syracuse, NY
March 14-15, 2015

New York State Challenge Divisions:
Division I: Middle school
Division II: High school
Division III: College
Division IV: All Ages

National Option
A separate Rube Goldberg Machine Contest will be hosted by the Ying TRSEF as well. This is operated through Rube Goldberg, Inc., offers national advancement, and involves a different task and additional fees. Details HERE.

WHAT is an Overly Complicated Machine or “OCM”?

Teams of three (3) or more people invent and build wildly complicated machines with as many “energy changes” as possible to do a simple task. This year we “TURN PAGES OF A BOOK” via as wild and complex a route as you can devise. The funnier, the more it follows a theme, the more the judges love it! You could even write your own book for the machine.

WHY make an Overly Complicated Machine?

For the fun! Your team has three people or as many as you want, plus you compete to win “Best of Division” awards!
AND if you are middle or high school, you can use your work on that machine and compete at the regional science fair as well.

HOW MUCH does it cost to be a NYS OCM team?

Teams register for only $50 each. That $50 not only gives up to four people Ying TRSEF t-shirts and OCM participant medallions, but also every student will be our guest for the Ying TRSEF Pizza Party on Saturday evening. (Adults can buy “pizza tickets” – don’t worry.)

WHERE and WHEN is the NYS Overly Complicated Challenge held?

Science and Technology Center (MAP)
Syracuse University
Syracuse, New York

Saturday, March 14, 2015 FINAL Schedule
8:00 a.m. Sign-in and set-up begins
8:45 a.m. Team Leaders meeting
9:00 a.m. Judging rounds begin (open to public and media)
9:45 a.m. Live Skype Q&A with MicroTech CEO Tony Jimenez
10:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. STEM Day at Syracuse University and SUNY ESF
6:00-7:00 p.m. Pizza party at the hotel (students eat for free)

Sunday, March 15, 2015
Middle and High School OCM students from the Ying TRSEF’s 25 counties will compete in the science fair. Feel free to use your machine project; we waive your science fair registration fee.
College/Adult Machine team members are encouraged to enjoy judging at Ying TRSEF.
Morning: Ying TRSEF judge training
Afternoon: Judging
Late afternoon: Awards Ceremony for all competitions, including Machines

Recruiters and Judges

Please recruit teams and judges for this adventure! Simply contact Contest Director Douglas Hemphill of SUNY Oswego to find out how you can bring OCM to your campus or community, and email this LINK to everyone you know!


2015 Rulebook for Overly Complicated Challenge PDF
Volume Calculator PDF
OCM Handout PDF
Ying TRSEF brochure LINK

Great videos of other types of Rube Goldberg Machines:
Huge HONDA machine LINK
A music video unlike any other LINK

RGMC teams may take advantage of the science fair hotel arrangements (hotel will accept four per room, receive a free “grab and go” breakfast). HOUSING

Science Fairs

Students’ OCM projects can easily be re-purposed as SCIENCE FAIR PROJECTS – two competitions for one effort! Your team may want to break some tasks down so only 1-3 students design and construct a particular set of steps. Check out the rules of YOUR regional science fair for grade eligibility, size of teams, and protocols for engineering projects.

Register HERE for Rube Goldberg!

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