High school teams from across the state tested their engineering skills in this year’s 2014 High School Regional Rube Goldberg Machine Contest March 8 at Jac-Cen-Del Elementary School, according to a press release.
The contest, sponsored by Batesville Tool & Die and Ripley County EcO15, Economic Opportunities through Education, an Initiative of the Ripley County Community Foundation, rewards machines that most effectively combine creativity with inefficiency and complexity to complete a given task. The 2014 challenge for both high school and college teams is to zip a zipper.
The contest’s namesake is the late cartoonist Rube Goldberg, who specialized in drawing whimsical machines with complex mechanisms to perform simple tasks.
One of the most insanely fun ways to learn about Science, Technology, Engineering and Math is building Rube Goldberg Machines, an overly complex contraption with many chain reactions, designed with humor, to accomplish a simple task. Building great machines requires engineering skill, attention to detail, intense precision and tons of creativity.
Teams and their machines are judged on a range of criteria from complexity, machine flow, creativity, humor and storytelling, along with the successful completion of the task at hand.
Jac-Cen-Del is the only location in the state of Indiana to host a high school competition this year.
Cheryll Obendorf, Ripley County EcO15 project manager, explains, “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!”
The contest featured nine high school teams from across the state. The first-place trophy was awarded by Batesville Tool & Die to The Engineering Academy 1. Ripley County EcO15 sponsored the second-place award, which was presented to The Engineering Academy 2. Duke Energy presented the third-place award to Madison High School.