Wilmington High School wins 13th annual Rube Goldberg Machine Contest

By Jared SagoffFebruary 22, 2008

ARGONNE, Ill. — A team from Wilmington High School today won Argonne National Laboratory's 13th annual Rube Goldberg Machine Contest held at Chicago Children's Museum on Navy Pier.

The team 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. Shephard High School, Palos Heights, and third place went to team #1 from Maine Township South, Park Ridge.

The People's Choice Award, chosen by popular vote by people attending the Chicago Children's Museum during the contest, went to Wilmington High School. The team received a trophy.

Other teams in the contest were:

  • Gardner South Wilmington H.S., Wilmington
  • Maine Township South, Park Ridge team #2
  • Illinois Math & Science Academy, Aurora

The winning team received a traveling trophy to display until the 2009 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 National Laboratory 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.

These top three teams will have the opportunity to compete in the 2008 Illinois State Championship Rube Goldberg Machine Contest to be held Saturday, March 22, at the Chicago Children's Museum. They will compete against the top three teams from the Friday, March 7, high school Rube Goldberg Machine Contest at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign's Engineering Open House. The top two teams in the Illinois State Championship will advance to the National Championship Saturday, April 5, at Purdue University.

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 on the World Wide Web at http://www.anl.gov/Careers/Education/rube/rubeteams.html

Argonne's Division of Educational Programs and Communications and Public Affairs Division sponsor the March 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 at www.RubeGoldberg.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.