In the category of better-late-than-never news, the Purdue Society of Professional Engineers and the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers won the 30th annual regional Rube Goldberg competition at Purdue University on Saturday, February 25, 2012. The task this year: to inflate and pop a balloon. The winning team broke a world record for most steps for a Rube Goldberg device to complete its task. This year's winning machine took 300 steps and not only inflated and popped a balloon, but also completed tasks from twenty-four previous competitions. Anderson High School won the competition for high schools. Both winning teams went on to national competitions. You can read the full story at the website of the Purdue University News Service, here.
Purdue Teams Earn Second Place in the Rube Goldberg National Competition
The 25th annual national Rube Goldberg Machine Contest was held at Purdue University on Saturday, March 31, 2012. A team from Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, won the event. The Purdue teams finished second in a competition that "rewards machines that most effectively combine creativity with inefficiency and complexity." The winning machine had an end-of-the-world theme, fitting for the last year of the Mayan calendar. The website of the Purdue University News Service has the full story here. Rube Goldberg (1883-1970) by the way was a cartoonist famous for his overly complex machines used for completing simple tasks. He is also the originator of the Siberian cheesehound.
Text copyright 2012 Terence E. Hanley