High school students from across the state are preparing for a Rube Goldberg Machine Contest in less than two weeks. Teams will gather at Jac-Cen-Del Elementary School in Osgood to test their machines.

February 23, 2015

News Release

BATESVILLE, Ind. – High school teams from across the state will test their engineering skills in this year's Rube Goldberg Machine Contest (RGMC) on March 7th at Jac-Cen-Del Elementary School in Osgood.

The local event will begin at 10:00 a.m. The event is free and open to the public. Jac-Cen-Del is one of two locations in the state of Indiana to host an onsite competition for high school students.

The contest rewards machines that most effectively combine creativity with inefficiency and complexity to complete a given task. This year's challenge is to “Erase a Chalkboard” in a minimum of 20 steps!

“One of the most insanely fun ways to learn about Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) is building Rube Goldberg Machines,” said Cheryll Obendorf, Ripley County EcO15 Project Manager. “A Rube Goldberg Machine is an overly complex contraption with many chain reactions, designed with humor, to accomplish a simple task (think of the classic board game “Mousetrap”). Building great Rube Goldberg Machines requires engineering skill, attention to detail, intense precision and tons of creativity.”

The RGMC is STEM and Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (STEAM) friendly. Teams and their machines are judged on a range of criteria from complexity, machine flow, creativity, humor and storytelling — along with the successful achievement of the task at hand.

“The mission, with all levels of competition of the Rube Goldberg Machine Contests, is to encourage critical thinking and problem solving in a non-traditional learning environment – and to have fun in the process,” explains Obendorf. “Students work hard to create these awesome machines, and we hope everyone will come out to support them as they demonstrate their creativity and engineering expertise!”

Teams have until February 27 to register for the event.

The contest will feature high school teams from across the state including Milan, Madison, Batesville, Jac-Cen-Del and The Engineering Academy at the Southeastern Career Center.

Sponsors for the event include: Batesville Tool & Die Inc., Ripley County EcO15, Ripley County Community Foundation, Franklin County Community Foundation, Duke Energy and River Valley Financial Bank.

The winner will compete in the World Rube Goldberg Machine Contest scheduled for Saturday, April 18, 2015, at Waukesha County Technical College in Pewaukee, Wisconsin.

The contest's namesake is the late cartoonist Rube Goldberg, who specialized in drawing whimsical machines with complex mechanisms to perform simple tasks.

Rube Goldberg earned a degree in engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1904. He worked as an engineer for the city of San Francisco for less than a year before becoming a sports cartoonist for the San Francisco Chronicle. He received a Pulitzer Prize in 1948 for his political cartoons published by the New York Sun.

About Eco15

Economic Opportunities through Education by 2015 (EcO15) is creating a regional system of life-long learning by connecting the residents of ten counties within rural Southeast Indiana to better economic opportunities through education by the year 2015 and beyond. EcO15 has an overarching goal of helping each person in southeast Indiana move up at least one level in their education, training or job placement within the region’s three strongest economic clusters: advanced manufacturing, health care and hospitality/tourism.

Source: Eco15

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