Rube Goldberg Contest at WSCC

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Washington State Community College's Fundamentals of Engineering classes have been hard at work, completing project builds for the Rube Goldberg Machine Contest. The display and judging of the projects happened this afternoon in the Engineering wing, located in the main building on the Washington State campus. This year's challenge was to blow up a balloon and pop it.

rube goldbergThe Rube Goldberg Machine Contest (RGMC) brings the ideas of Pulitzer Prize-winning artist Rube Goldberg's "invention" cartoons to life. This "Olympics of Complexity" is designed to pull students away from conventional problem-solving and push them into the endless chaos of imagination and intuitive thought.

Brenda Kornmiller, dean of business, engineering & industrial technologies, said "This is a fun, creative and sometimes perplexing challenge."

To be specific, groups are given an elementary challenge: something as simple as peeling an apple, sharpening a pencil, or putting toothpaste on a toothbrush. But instead of just "solving" the problem, students have to make the solution as complicated and as convoluted as possible. In fact, the more steps - there's a minimum of twenty - the better the Rube Goldberg Machine. An assemblage of ordinary objects, mechanical gadgets, and the oddest odds and ends are linked together and somehow get to the desired goal.

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