Students compete in Rube Goldberg competition

The Homestead AP Physics C class won the creative award in the Rube Goldberg machine contest at the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana last Friday, March 10, 2017.

A Rube Goldberg machine is a machine that takes a lot of steps to perform a simple task.  The steps are all chain reactions that in the end do one thing.  This year the task at the competition was to apply a band-aid on an object.

Students began their work in late December, and worked over three months to finish the machine.  The process started off by brainstorming ideas regarding the theme and then later progressed to assigning tasks to who would make what step of the machine.  

Most of the major work was done in the last month when all the pieces and hard work came together.  “It was the most remarkable thing these last three to four weeks. It really came together, and it turned out really well,” the team advisor and teacher, Mr. Paul Sivanich, said.

The team worked very well together and get along as well.  “Everyone in the class has been in lots of classes together throughout our four years, so everybody was friends and got along really well,” Katie Gebhardt, senior, said.  

The team competed against 20 other teams at one of the top ranked engineering universities in the country, the University of Illinois. On the day of the competition, the team ran several successful test runs before the judges and were very excited to reveal their hard work. 

“It was really cool to see everyone else’s machines and it was a lot of fun,” Gebhardt said.  

Unfortunately, when demonstrating the machine to the judge,s the machine had a few unexpected hiccups and did not run as smoothly as they had hoped.  However, the team pulled together and was able to fix most of the flaws.

“It was super fun to see them do so well problem solving and figuring out ways to work around the problems we encountered on Friday,” Mr. Sivanich said.

In the end, the students were successful and happy with their win.  “It was really cool putting that much time into a club where we go to experiment with simple machines and things.  I really enjoyed growing as a person throughout Rube and seeing what I like to do,” Nathan Schimpf, senior, said.

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