WCTC to host Wisconsin High School Regional Rube Goldberg Machine Contest March 3
PEWAUKEE, Wis. (Thursday, March 2, 2017) – Applying a Band-Aid is typically a straightforward task, but to accomplish it in 20 steps or more is definitely more of a challenge. To achieve such a task takes trial and error, patience, strategy and a good dose of humor.
That’s where the Rube Goldberg Machine Contest comes into play.
On Friday, March 3, approximately 180 Wisconsin high school students and instructors on 12 teams from high schools throughout the state will compete and display their Band-Aid machines as part of the Wisconsin High School Regional Rube Goldberg Machine Contest held at Waukesha County Technical College (Service Building – Gymnasium). This is the seventh year WCTC will host the regional event.
The main goal of the Rube Goldberg Machine Contest is to encourage critical thinking and problem solving in a non-traditional learning environment.
“WCTC is excited to host the regional competition for Rube Goldberg for the seventh consecutive year,” said Mark Rzeznik, WCTC associate dean of Graphics and Engineering Technologies. “The STEM (Science, Engineering, Technology and Math) skills and imagination high school students use to make their machines is impressive, along with their creativity, energy and teamwork.”
Members of WCTC’s faculty will be among the more than 30 professional engineer volunteer judges who will provide valuable feedback to students.
The Rube Goldberg Machine Contest challenges students to take an elementary task and provide a complex, convoluted solution using ordinary objects, mechanical gadgets and miscellaneous odds and ends connected together to achieve a specific goal. The completed machine must fit in an overall volume of 250 cubic feet and run for no more than 2 minutes per run.
Teams of high school students and two teachers will demonstrate their engineering skills, compete for prizes and vie for an opportunity to attend the competition’s high school national finals on Saturday, March 25 at the Center of Science and Industry (COSI) in Columbus, Ohio.
Coordinated by the Milwaukee Area Engineering and Technology Partnership, the Rube Goldberg Machine Contest is named after the Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist, sculptor, author and engineer who spent the early part of his career making “inventions” to tackle basic tasks. The partnership includes STEM Forward, Marquette University, Milwaukee Area Technical College, Milwaukee School of Engineering and WCTC.
Rounds 1 and 2 of judging will be from 10:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., with a third and fourth round of judging from 12:30-1:30 p.m. The awards ceremony will be from 1:45 – 2:15 p.m. (The First place team will advance to the nationals.) Specialty awards will also be announced.
Schools participating in the 2017 event include:
· Benton High School
· Berlin High School
· Janesville Craig High School
· Kiel High School
· Kimberly High School – 2 teams
· Milwaukee Lutheran High School
· Pius XI High School
· Saint Catherine’s High School
· Waunakee High School
· Waupaca High School
· Wauwatosa West High School
The general public is invited to attend the contest free of charge.
To learn more about the machine contest, visit www.rubegoldberg.com.
About STEM Forward
STEM Forward, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, is the regional coordinator of the Rube Goldberg Machine Contests in Wisconsin. STEM Forward’s programs, events and activities inspire local youth to pursue STEM careers and provide a pipeline of talent to businesses in southeastern Wisconsin. To learn more, visit www.stemforward.org.
About Waukesha County Technical College
Waukesha County Technical College, the leader in workforce development, prepares learners for success within the region and global economy. The college offers more than 175 areas of study including associate degree, technical diploma, apprenticeship and short-term certificate programs. Customized training for employers is also available. To learn more, visit www.wctc.edu.
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