Represent your school in our Amazing Spaghetti Machine Contest.
Year 10 students from across Victoria are invited to participate in our annual Amazing Spaghetti Machine Contest. Students work in teams and put their maths, science, engineering and project management skills to the test in the creation of a ‘spaghetti machine’ — an overly complex device that is used to perform a relatively simple task.
Teams have five months to design, plan and build their machines before demonstrating their creations on-campus at the University of Melbourne on judging day!
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In light of the emerging COVID-19 situation and continuing policy statements from the State and Federal Government, the University is adopting a series of changes to reduce rates of infection in the community. At this stage, the Amazing Spaghetti Machine Contest dates are not affected, but registered schools will be notified of any changes as soon as possible.
We are currently exploring online alternatives, should the Competition Day on Thursday 6 August be impacted.
The University will continue to follow expert health advice and will continue to make decisions about its activities which are in the best interests of the health, safety and wellbeing of the entire University community.
Keen to get involved? Here’s all the information you need to know about this year’s contest.
Find out when registrations open and close, when the task will be announced, and the date of the contest.Find out more
Find out the task for the contest. See the list of schools competing in this year’s contest.Find out more
Information on how to design your machine, how the contest is judged and what prizes you can win.Find out more
- How to enter
Find out more about how to get a team together and get registered for the contest.Find out more
Welcome to the Spaghetti Workshop, where you can learn more about what it takes to plan and build a spaghetti machine, catch video episodes of tips and tricks, and get inspiration for your creation from some of the other fantastic machines from around the world.
TIP: Don’t get too complicated! Plan what you think you can achieve in the time you’ve got!
Q & A’s
- What do you need to create a spaghetti machine?
- a team that’s prepared and able to work together
- a space that you can build your machine in (and preferably one that allows you to leave it set up while you work on it)
- access to some basic tools and equipment to build with
- enough time set aside to work on it.
The team will also need a teacher or staff member from the school to act as the supervisor for the project.
Finally, you’ll need plenty of imagination, creativity, and a willingness to experiment and improvise in order to come up with solutions!
- How many people do I need to form a spaghetti machine team?
We recommend between 6–10 people per team, but of course the number of team members is ultimately up to you. A good way of determining what you need would be to work out how many steps you want to include in your machine (minimum 10), how much time you’ll have to work on the machine, and how much work/time that means per person. Remember, more team members mean less work per person, but too many members and you might have a hard time organising and agreeing amongst yourselves. Above all, make sure that those team members you do include are prepared to stick around for the whole project!
- How do we start creating a spaghetti machine?
Before you get down to hammering things together it’s probably a good idea to do a bit of research into other types of machines that have been created (check out our Video gallery) and to have a chat about what you want to do, and what you think you can manage. You’ll also want to think about what your resources are (people, space, equipment, time, skills, etc …) and how to organise yourselves to make best use of them. This might include allocating tasks for individual members, a schedule for what needs to be done by when (very important!), and how you want to keep track of who’s working on what.
- What sort of materials will my team need?
The great thing about spaghetti machines is that they can be made from just about anything. Wood, old bits of metal or plastic, toys, recycled gadgets or machine parts, everyday household items … you name it. We’re interested in seeing how inventive you can be, including your ability to recycle or re-purpose existing objects or materials for your design. Just keep in mind that whatever you use needs to be safe (for you to work with and for spectators to look at).
- When and how do I get the voucher to buy materials?
To help you with the construction of your machine, we’ll send your team (via your nominated staff supervisor) a voucher for Bunnings Warehouse. This voucher is intended to help you source bits and pieces that you might otherwise struggle to find. Once a team is confirmed as taking part in the contest the voucher will be mailed to your school and marked to the attention of your staff supervisor.
Check out this gallery of videos showing machines we think are pretty awesome. Some are instructional, some are inspirational, and some are just plain funny.
- Avila College
- Cranbourne East Secondary College
- Islamic College of Melbourne
- Keysborough Secondary College
- Killester College
- Kingswood college
- Lauriston Girls' School
- Lyndale Secondary College
- Mater Christi College
- Matthew Flinders Girls
- Mount Alexander College
- Mount Scopus Memorial College
- Nazareth College
- Norwood Secondary College
- Nossal High School
- Notre Dame College
- Santa Maria College
- St Aloysius College
- Sunbury College
- Templestowe College
- Toorak College
- Traralgon Secondary College