Batesville Herald Tribune, Batesville, Indiana

March 22, 2014

Jac-Cen-Del hosts Rube Goldberg Machine Contest

The Batesville Herald-Tribune

---- — 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.

The Engineering Academy is located at Southeastern Career Center, Versailles. It offers higher level Project Lead the Way Engineering courses (computer integrated manufacturing, aerospace engineering, engineering design and development) to high school juniors and seniors. Prerequisites for attendance are completion of introduction to engineering design and principles of engineering. Students from any high school being served by SCC may apply to attend.

The Peer Award, presented by the RCCF, was given to Jennings County High School. It also won the awards for Risk, presented by Friendship State Bank and Best Construction, presented by River Valley Financial Bank. Most Rube-Like Machine was awarded by Purdue College of Technology to The Engineering Academy 2. Honda Manufacturing of Indiana presented the award for Best Use of Materials to Madison High School. Best Design was presented to Madison High School by Hill-Rom. The award for Best Presentation was presented by Margaret Mary Health to Madison High School and Jac-Cen-Del High School.

The winning team will move on to the national contest, National High School Rube Goldberg Machine Championship, to be held Saturday, April 5, at Waukesha Country Technical College in Pewaukee, Wis.