Maine South High School wins Argonne Rube Goldberg Machine Contest

By Steve McGregorFebruary 25, 2011

ARGONNE, Ill. —A team from Maine Township High School South, Park Ridge, Ill., won Argonne National Laboratory's 16th annual Rube Goldberg Machine Contest, held today at the Chicago Children's Museum on Navy Pier. By winning Argonne's contest, the Maine South team #1 advances to the National High School Rube Goldberg Machine Championship to be held Saturday, March 19, at Ferris State University located in Big Rapids, Mich.

Maine South's team #1 defeated eight other teams by building a complex machine that takes at least 20 steps to water a plant.

Second place in today's competition was won by Hoffman Estates High School, Hoffman Estates, and third place went to Luther High School North, Chicago.

The People's Choice Trophy, awarded by popular vote by people attending the Chicago Children's Museum during the contest, also went to Maine South #1.
Other teams in the contest were:

  • Chicago Christian High School, Chicago
  • Hoffman Estates High School, Hoffman Estates
  • Joliet Central High School, Joliet
  • Maine Township High School South, Park Ridge (team #2)
  • Nobel Street College Prep, Chicago
  • Wilmington High School, Wilmington

In addition to advancing to the national championship, the winning team received a traveling trophy to display until the 2012 contest and a tour of Argonne, which will include the Advanced Photon Source and lunch with Argonne scientists. The first-place team also will have the opportunity to demonstrate its winning machine at Argonne on the day of its tour. In addition, each team member and the team's faculty advisor received an Argonne National Laboratory Rube Goldberg Machine laptop backpack and an Argonne Rube Goldberg Machine Contest T-shirt.

Second-place team members and their faculty advisor received Argonne National Laboratory Rube Goldberg Machine laptop backpacks and Argonne Rube Goldberg Machine Contest T-shirts.

Third-place team members and their faculty advisor received Argonne National Laboratory Rube Goldberg Machine Contest T-shirts.

Rube Goldberg machine contests are inspired by Reuben Lucius Goldberg, whose cartoons combined simple household items into complex devices to perform trivial tasks. The machines combine the principles of physics and engineering, using common objects such as marbles, mousetraps, stuffed animals, electric mixers, vacuum cleaners, rubber tubes, bicycle parts and anything else that happens to be on hand.

Information about the Argonne Rube Goldberg Machine Contest for High Schools is available online.

Argonne’s Division of Educational Programs and Communications and Public Affairs Division sponsor the Feb. 25 event in collaboration with Chicago Children’s Museum and the National Rube Goldberg Machine Contest, held annually at Purdue University. The event is licensed by Rube Goldberg, Inc.

“Rube Goldberg” is a registered trademark and copyright of Rube Goldberg, Inc., which can be reached, at (203) 227-0818, by e-mail at Rube@RubeGoldberg.com or via their Web site.

Chicago Children’s Museum’s mission is to create a community where play and learning connect. For more information about Chicago Children’s Museum, call (312) 527-1000 or visit their Web site.