• Chain Reaction Contraption
  • Closed at 4 pm on Sun., Dec. 15 for the Steelers Game.
    Carnegie Science Center closed Tuesdays through Dec. 24.
    Closed all day on Wed., Dec. 25.


For more information, to register a team, or to volunteer to serve as a judge or engineering mentor, please contact us. opens in a new window

Chain Reaction Contraption Contest

The Chain Reaction Contraption Contest (CRCC) is a spirited competition for students in grades 9-12 and is one of the exciting National Engineers Week events. The CRCC fosters an interest in engineering by challenging students to create a machine that will accomplish a specific task using a series of steps. The CRCC is sponsored by Westinghouse Electric Company, and presented in cooperation with the Carnegie Science Center.

The 2019-2020 contest task is to Make a Mess and Clean It Up! Check out the previous contests page for more information from last year’s contest to Tie a Knot.

Under the guidance of an engineer mentor (optional) and a teacher sponsor, teams will:

  • Submit a preliminary design drawing.
  • Submit a series of progress photos that show the machine’s evolution.
  • Build a machine that accomplishes the assigned task.
  • Demonstrate their machine and make a verbal presentation.

The 2019-20 CRCC will be held on Tuesday December 10, 2019 at the Carnegie Science Center. It is on this day that the students will demonstrate their machine and make the verbal presentation.

The CRCC Official Handbook contains background information on the contest. It also contains information on the challenge, rules, important dates and forms. The handbook is available for download on the Forms page.

The follow dates are for the 2019-20 contest.

  • August 2019
    • Announcement of Task
  • August 2019
    • Release of Official Handbook
  • September 2019
    • Release of Orientation Presentation
  • October 4, 2019
    • Registration Deadline
  • October 18, 2019
    • Conceptual Design Proposal Deadline
  • October 18, 2019
    • Media Release Form Deadline
  • November 1, 2019
    • Photographic Progress Report #1 Deadline
  • November 15, 2019
    • Photographic Progress Report #2 Deadline
  • December 3, 2019
    • Photographic Progress Report #3 Deadline
  • Tuesday, December 10, 2019
    • Contest and Verbal Presentation at Carnegie Science Center