Magnetek, Inc. presents Rube Goldberg Machine Contest’s “Best Energy Engineered Machine” Award to Racine’s St. Catherine’s High School Team
MENOMONEE FALLS, Wis. - June 12, 2008 - Magnetek sponsored the “Best Energy Engineered Machine” award at Milwaukee’s Rube Goldberg Machine Contest hosted by the Milwaukee Area Engineering and Technology Partnership: Marquette University, Milwaukee Area Technology College, Milwaukee School of Engineering, University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, Waukesha County Technical College, Engineers and Scientists of Milwaukee and Discovery World at Pier Wisconsin.
The award was presented to the 16-member team from St. Catherine’s High School, Racine at the Milwaukee Art Museum on April 25. The St. Catherine’s team won second place overall with its pirate-ship-themed contraption that drew and erased an “X” in 20 steps or more.
“I was judging for Magnetek’s “Best Energy Engineered Machine” award based on three items: different types of energy used, energy efficiency and team knowledge,” said James Pomes, Development Manager for Magnetek’s Alternative Energy Research and Development, who served as the judge for this special award. “Their machine used the most different types of energy, it was efficient with more parallel tasks and parallel results occurring during operation of the machine, and finally, it was enthusiasm and knowledge shown by the St. Catherine’s students while answering questions about their machine.”
The National Rube Goldberg Machine Contest challenges high school students to create a machine to perform a series of steps in order to complete a task. A new contest challenge is given every year. Teams of students, with the support of teachers or engineering mentors, are given a problem to solve. Using imagination, creativity, and some wacky designs, students develop problem-solving skills and teamwork to build their machine contraptions. There are a few requirements but none are more important than having at least twenty steps to achieve the challenge.
The contest’s namesake is the late cartoonist, Rube Goldberg, who specialized in drawing whimsical machines with complex mechanisms to perform simple tasks. Winning machines must complete two successful runs in a row, and points are deducted if a student has to assist the machine after it starts. Judges award points based on the creative use of materials and related themes.
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