Pekin H.S. wins 10th annual Illinois State Championship Rube Goldberg machine contest

By Jared SagoffMarch 22, 2008

ARGONNE, Ill. — A team from Pekin High School, Pekin, Ill., today won the 10th annual Illinois State Championship Rube Goldberg Machine, co-sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory, at the Chicago Children's Museum at Navy Pier.

Pekin defeated five other teams by building a complex machine that took at least 20 steps to assemble a hamburger consisting of no less than one precooked meat patty, two vegetables and two condiments, sandwiched between two bun halves.

Second place in today's competition was won by Alan B. Shepard High School, Palos Heights, and third place by Cornerstone Discovery Group, Champaign. First and second place teams will advance to the national championships at 2 p.m. Saturday, April 5, at Purdue University, West Lafayette, Ind.

The winning team received a crystal trophy, emblematic of the Illinois High School State Championship for construction and operation of Rube Goldberg machines and $600 was donated to the school's science program.

The second-place team received a presentation certificate and a $400 donation to the school's science program, and the third place team received $300 donation to their schools' science program. The remaining three teams received $200 each for their schools' science programs:

  • Maine Township High School, Park Ridge
  • Stark County High School, Toulon
  • Wilmington High School, Wilmington

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 and anything else on hand.

Argonne sponsors the event in collaboration with the University of Illinois-Urbana, the Chicago Children's Museum, and the National Rube Goldberg Machine Contest. The event is licensed by Rube Goldberg, Inc.

“Rube Goldberg” is a registered trademark of Rube Goldberg, Inc., which can be reached at license@rubegoldberg.com or information@rubegoldberg.com, or on the World Wide Web at www.rgmc.com.

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 www.chichildrensmuseum.org.