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Energy Transfer Machine on Video

Because Energy Transfer Machines are large and difficult to transport, studets will submit a video of their machine in action, view the rules for details. The E.T. Machine provides a hands-on opportunity for elementary, middle, and high school students to use their STEM skills in a fun and creative way.  Students are challenged to transform everyday materials into a wacky, innovative machine that accomplishes a team-specified task at the one minute mark using a variety of energy transfers.

  • Students work in teams of 2 - 6 students per team.

  • Machines are designed and constructed as a Rube-Goldberg type of apparatus utilizing various energy-transfer steps to complete a team-specified task at the one minute mark.

  • One of the steps in the device is powered by electricity (not to exceed 9 volts).

  • These ‘timing’ devices are judged on accuracy, innovation, complexity and technical sophistication.

    Photo of middle school kids with their energy innovation.


The E.T. Machine is open to all Florida students in grades 3 - 12.  Teams are made up of two to six students with at least one teacher/mentor, and divided into three divisions—elementary, middle school, and high school. 

Competition rules for the Energy Transfer Machine