Milan Middle School & Ripley County Engineering Academy Capture Regional Rube Goldberg Title

Tuesday, March 12th, 2019 2:02pm

By Genesis Pathways to Success, news release

These kids came up with some creative, zany ways to put money in a piggy bank.

Division I winners from Milan Middle School. Photo provided.

(Osgood, Ind.) – The 8th Annual Regional Rube Goldberg Machine Contest hosted by Genesis: Pathways to Success (GPS) and Jac-Cen-Del Community School Corporation was on Sat., March 9, 2018, at Jac-Cen-Del High School. The event’s James Madison Sponsor was German American Bank. This year fifteen teams of middle and high school students created chain-reaction machines to “Put Money in a Piggy Bank.”

Capturing top honors in Division I (middle school) was Milan Middle School. The team from Milan, Indiana, won first place in the division and walked away with the German American Bank, Peer, Creative Spark, and Spirit of Hilarious Invention awards. Second place in the Division was Moores Hill Elementary School, which also captured the Helping Hand Teamwork award.

In Division II (high school), the Ripley County Engineering Academy, Team 1, captured first place and also won the People’s Choice and Spirit of Hilarious Invention awards.  Second place in Division II went to Anderson High School, Anderson, Indiana. This team also won the German American, Creative Spark, and Helping Hand Teamwork awards.

In a surprise announcement, Cheryll Obendorf, GPS Director, notified the crowd that the first and second place winners in each Division are qualified to compete in the 2019 Rube Goldberg Machine Contest Finals scheduled for April 6, 2019, at the Lawrenceburg Event Center.  

Other winners in Division I included the third place winner, South Ripley Junior High School. People’s Choice in Division I went to Jac-Cen-Del Junior High School, and the Judge’s Award was presented to St. Nicholas School.

In Division II, Batesville High School captured third place and the Peer award while the Judge’s Award went to Ivy Tech Community College. 

“These students amaze me more every year,” said Cheryll Obendorf, GPS Director.  “The quality of their machines and the work they put into them is very impressive. It’s wonderful to see such excitement about taking a pile of junk and using it to learn about engineering, teamwork, creativity, and problem solving! This was our largest contest to date, and I am extremely thankful for the volunteers and sponsors who helped make it successful and for the team at Jac-Cen-Del who provide an extraordinary amount of support for this competition.”


Division II winners from Batesville High School. Photo provided.

Other teams competing in the regional contest represented St. Louis School and Batesville Middle School teams from Batesville, Indiana; Greenwood High School from Greenwood, Indiana; West High School from Columbus, Ohio; Milan High School from Milan, Indiana; and, the Ripley County Engineering Academy, Team 2.  

Kids Discovery Factory’s fantastic mobile exhibits were available for younger children, engaging them in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) activities throughout the day.

This year’s James Madison Sponsor was German American Bank.  Grover Cleveland sponsors for this year were Kids Discovery Factory, Hill-Rom, and Honda Manufacturing of Indiana.  William McKinley sponsors this year were the Friendship State Bank, the Napoleon State Bank, Elgin Fastener Group, and Proud Moments Engraving.  Grant funding to support the Regional Rube Goldberg Machine Contest was received from Southeastern Indiana REMC’s Operation Roundup fund and the Shopko Foundation. 

The first national Rube Goldberg Machine Contest was launched in 1988. Nationwide television, radio and printed media attention promotes the growth of the contest to make it bigger and better each year.  According to Rube Goldberg Legacy Director, Jennifer George, “It’s teamwork. It’s trial and error. The kids are amazing. It’s like Halloween meets the Science room.  It’s a marvelous thing to watch!”

Genesis: Pathways to Success (GPS) is an initiative of the Ripley County Community.  Its mission is to be a perpetual resource to support, expand, and enhance educational and economic opportunities for local communities. For additional information, please visit

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