Slinky Partners with Rube Goldberg On Classroom Program
Posted on Sep 24, 2019 by Brad McCabe

Thousands of Students to Use Slinky in Machine Contest Designed to Promote STEM Learning

Alex Brands, Inc. today announced that Slinky® will head to thousands of classrooms across the country this fall as an official sponsor of the 2019-2020 Rube Goldberg™ Machine Contest. The partnership between Slinky and Rube Goldberg marries two iconic heritage brands – both invented by engineers and both designed to inspire kids of all ages to learn about STEM, creativity and problem solving while, of course, having fun.

Beginning next month, thousands of elementary, middle and high school students across the country will use Slinky in designing their Rube Goldberg Machines (RGM). Teams compete in three different divisions - Apprentice (ages 8-11), Division I (ages 11-14), and Division II (ages 14-18) - and each must design and build a unique RGM that completes the same "simple" task -- and incorporates a Slinky as a transfer of energy step somewhere in the machine. The task for RGMC 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 organization with a similar focus and roots in engineering seemed like the perfect way to kick off Slinky's 75th anniversary in 2020."

"A Rube Goldberg machine is a crazy chain-reaction contraption that accomplishes a simple task in the most overly complicated and funniest way possible," says Jennifer George, Legacy Director at RGI and granddaughter of Rube Goldberg. "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 mesmerizing 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.

Rube Goldberg was a Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist who is best known for his hilariously complex invention cartoons. For more information on the man and his machines, visit

To sign up for the Rube Goldberg 2020 Machine Contest, students can go to and use #RGMC2020 on social media. For more information on Slinky visit or follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

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