Curious to see a Rube Goldberg Machine in action? Then come down to the Student Union at GCC’s Batavia Campus on Thursday, April 14 to catch a glimpse! From 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., the Rube Goldberg Machine built by five GCC students who won the regional contest and competed in nationals at Purdue University will be on display and in action!
The Rube Goldberg Machine Team is looking for recruits for next year’s competition. This year as dictated by competition rules, the GCC Team employed many common items such as a baseball bat and glove, a printer, darts, a derby car, a zip-lining Barbie doll and DVD covers lined up like dominos, to amass over 20 complex steps to accomplish the simple task of watering a plant.
The concept behind Rube Goldberg Machines aims to make simple things complicated for the sake of science. Rube Goldberg was a cartoonist who drew devices that did just that – used extremely unnecessary levels of complexity and creativity to do accomplish something simple.
GCC engineering students David Simmons (Arcade, NY), Matt Klotzbach (East Pembroke, NY), Nick Rider (Holland, NY), Jen McLure (Pavilion, NY) and drafting student Tom Langley (Arcade) made up the entire Rube Goldberg Team this year and impressed themselves and their coach with what they were able to accomplish in the team’s first year.
Now, they invite new students to contribute their creativity, brain power and energy to next year’s challenge that includes blowing up and popping a balloon. According to the Official Rulebook for the 2011 Rube Goldberg Machine Contest, teams must adhere to strict guidelines according to size and time. Each contraption must fit within a six by six by six foot space and complete the assigned task with a minimum of 20 steps - within two minutes per run. Genesee Community College was one of just two community colleges who competed in the nationals.
There are high standards and plenty of pressure in the competition, but it is also a whole lot of fun,” Michael Crittenden, GCC Physics Professor and Rube Goldberg advisor said. “We are looking forward to making this a new student club and involving students with an array of professional and career interests. Alongside developing practical construction skills, the teamwork fosters creativity and imagination far beyond normal classroom activity. And let’s not forget good resume material. Oh, and did I mention fun?”
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Engineering students David Simmons (left) and Matt Klotzbach (right) standing with their plant watering, award winning Rube Goldberg Machine.