Competition invites children to create contraptions

Young people are invited to test their creativity and engineering skills by taking part in a competition inspired by the opening scene of a popular fantasy film.

The Nutcracker and the Four Realms opens with a lesson in Newton’s Third Law, as main character Clara builds a machine to catch a mouse. The contraption begins by lighting a candle which heats a balloon, triggering a series of events which result in a cage falling over a mouse. This is known as a Rube Goldberg machine, another example can be seen here.

As the film progresses Clara continues to invent solutions to challenges, in much the same way engineers solve problems in the world around them, and the Rochester Bridge Trust is inviting young people to emulate Clara and other engineers.

Children aged 6-12 are invited to create their own Rube Goldberg machines – for fun, no animals need be involved! – as part of a competition to celebrate the Trust’s free screening of this inspirational film. (Now fully-booked.)

To enter the competition children need to draw and label their own invention that works to these principles – or create it and photograph or film it in action! Entries can be shared on the Trust’s engineering education Facebook page, emailed to us, or posted to Nutcracker Competition, The Education Team, Rochester Bridge Trust, St Andrew’s House, The Precinct, Rochester, ME1 1SU. Entries must include the first name and age of the creator, and contact details for a parent or guardian.

The deadline is 5pm on Tuesday, 23rd April. The prize is a copy of The Nutcracker and the Four Realms on DVD.

Click here for full terms and conditions.

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