Virtual Science Fair


RIT/NTID is proud to present a new series of virtual events for middle school deaf and hard-of-hearing students. The Virtual Science Fair is a competition that will test your scientific knowledge, creativity, and hands-on skills in a variety of topics. Are you a deaf or hard-of-hearing student interested in science, technology, math, and engineering (STEM)? Do you like getting creative, trying out new things, and learning how to conduct your own experiments? Then these events are perfect for you!

For the 2021-2022 academic year, there will be two competitions open to students. After the competition kicks off, participants will have a set amount of time to create, record, and submit a video of their science project. Each competition will have a different theme:

Rube Goldberg Machine
Egg Drop Competition

Participate in one or both—its your choice! Registration for the competitions will open two weeks prior to the start dates.


Rube Goldberg Machine

Are you the type of person who loves playing around with automation? Do you like creating mechanisms or putting things together? This competition is right up your alley. The final competition in this series of science fairs is the Rube Goldberg Machine competition! Participants are encouraged to create the craziest combination of contraptions to perform a simple function. You can make the silliest, longest, most obscure, or visually pleasing machine for our team to judge. The machines that wows the judges the most will win prizes.

When: October 11 - October 29, 2021
Kickoff Webinar: A recording of the kickoff webinar is available on YouTube
Want to attend? Register for the Virtual Science Fair - Rube Goldberg Machine event

What is a Rube Goldberg Machine? 
An invention made from many different materials to accomplish a simple task, such as opening your refrigerator, pouring a box of cereal into a bowl, lighting up a light bulb. The possibilities are endless! 

Rube Goldberg Science Fair Competition 
Create a machine to accomplish an everyday task. Use your imagination and fuel your creativity! Make sure you do not start building your machine until you have adult supervision present! 
  • Machine rules: 
  • Must accomplish a task 
  • No usage of live animals or hazardous materials 
  • Any loose or flying objects must stay within the set boundaries of the machine 
  • Cannot contain or imply any profanity, inappropriate language, or any illegal items
  • Must have adult supervision
Competition Eligibility
  • You must currently be in middle school (6th, 7th, 8th grade) during the 2020-2021 academic year and have some form of hearing loss.
  • You will need to register for this competition here (hyperlinked).
  • Submit your video to us at by 11:59 p.m. EDT October 29, 2021.
Competition Submission
  • You will build a Rube Goldberg Model machine.
    • You will film it.
    • You also will need to explain what inspired you to create this specific design, and how your machine works.
  • Create a three to five minute video for submission
    • A short clip of your Rube Goldberg machine accomplishing a task 
    • Your explanation of what your machine is capable of
    • How does your machine accomplish the task? 
    • Why did you choose this idea? What was your inspiration? 
    • BONUS: what is the name of your machine? 
  • Upload your video to YouTube as unlisted and send the link to
    • Instructions for setting your video as unlisted can be found below
  • We will accept submissions until 11:59 p.m. EDT October 29, 2021.
  • Three winning machines will be selected, and winners will be notified by November 4, 2021.
    • Prizes will be awarded to the top three finalists! 
Video Submission
  • Video must be at least three minutes and no longer than five minutes.
  • Upload your video to YouTube.
    • Video must be unlisted. 
      • To upload a video and make it unlisted:
        • Sign into or create your YouTube account.
        • Go to your My Channel Page.
        • Upload a video by clicking on “create a video” in the upper right banner, and then upload video. 
        • Change the setting to upload the video as unlisted and select the video. 
        • Click Done to confirm. 
        • Copy and paste the unlisted link for submission.
      • To edit a video and make it unlisted: 
        • Go to the Video Manager and click on the video. 
        • Go to Edit. Under Basic information, you’ll see the option to mark your video as unlisted, public, or private. 
        • Select unlisted. 
        • Copy the video URL (found to the right of the video in Video Manager under video information). 
        • Copy and paste the unlisted link for submission. 
    • The title of your video must include your project title and your first and last name
Egg Drop Competition

Put your hands-on skills to the test with our next competition, the Egg Drop competition! Make a care package for your egg and test its limits by dropping it from different heights. If you are good with your hands, this is a great challenge for you! How good are you at making your package secure and safe? Can your egg survive the fall? Sign up and find out!

When: November 15 - December 15, 2021*
Kickoff Webinar: Monday, November 15 at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. ET
Want to attend?: Register for the Virtual Science Fair - Egg Drop Competition

*The deadline for this competition has been extended to December 15, 2021 due to technical difficulties during the final round

Suggested supplies are listed below, but you may use any materials you feel appropriate.
  • 1 raw egg (multiple eggs are suggested when testing your care package!)
  • tape
  • adhesives such as Elmer’s glue
  • straws
  • paper
  • plastic bag
  • foil
  • packing materials
  • cotton balls
  • rubber bands
  • popsicle sticks

Feel free to be creative and include additional supplies or remove supplies from the above list. Alternate or additional supply ideas: foil, grocery bags, toothpicks or shaving cream. 

Competition Rules
  • Design and build an egg drop device that will protect your egg from cracking or breaking
  • Device must be released completely when dropped and must touch the ground (you may not use any air-resistance devices such as a parachute)
  • When you drop the device, you will need to show that the egg is still unbroken.
Judging Criteria
The competition will be judged based on three things:
  • How original is the design of your care package? 
  • How high did you drop the care package from without breaking your egg?
  • Did the care package remain intact?
Competition Submission
  • Create a three to five-minute video for submission
    • How does your protection system project accomplish the task? 
    • Why did you choose those supplies? What was your inspiration? 
  • Upload your video to YouTube as unlisted and send the link to
    • Instructions for setting your video as unlisted can be found below
  • We will accept submissions until 11:59 p.m. EDT December 3, 2021.
  • Three winning machines will be selected, and winners will be notified by January 14, 2022.
    • Prizes will be awarded to the top three finalists! 


Each competition will feature prizes for the top submissions! Winners will be judged on creativity, construction, and design. After the submission deadline, our Science and Engineering departments will review each and every video, and announce the winners after they have been chosen. Prizes for each event are shown below:

Registration Information

Competition Participation Requirements:

To be eligible to enter the competitions, you must be in 6th, 7th, or 8th grade as of fall 2021. The competitions are open only to deaf and hard-of-hearing students


To register for this event, visit our registration page and select the Virtual Science Fair activity.

You must upload your project to YouTube, and email the link to no later than the last day of the two-week deadline.


  • Rube Goldberg Machine
    • Submission deadline: October 29, 2021, 11:59 p.m. ET
  • Egg Drop Competition
    • Submission deadline: December 15, 2021, 11:59 p.m. ET