The annual competition featuring complex machinery designed to perform basic tasks returns this weekend. The Rube Goldberg Machine Contest will be held on the campus of Purdue University Saturday.
Four high school teams and seven collegiate teams will compete. This year, the teams are to build multi-step machines using household items that will ultimately be able to open an umbrella.
"The machines are designed to encourage teamwork and out-of-the-box problem-solving for students of all ages," said Jana Mudrock, contest coordinator.
The winning teams from the high school and collegiate divisions will move on to the national finals on April 23 and April 9, respectively. Last year, two Purdue teams took home first and second place with machines designed to erase a chalkboard.
This year’s Purdue contest will be held at the Purdue Armory, beginning at 11:30 a.m. Mudrock says spectators will be able to see the machines in action up close.
The contest began in 1949 between two engineering fraternities at Purdue. It was re-established in the early 1980s and the national contest was established in 1988.