Ripley Co. Teams Capture Regional Rube Goldberg Title

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2020 10:19am

By Genesis: Pathways to Success, news release

The 9th Annual Regional Rube Goldberg Machine Contest was held Feb. 29 at Jac-Cen-Del High School.

St. Louis School 1st Place team. Pictured: Claire Saner, Madison Wanstrath, Megan Batta, Sady Hirt, Kate Weber, Catherine Streator, Hannah Wells and Paul Meer. Photo provided. 

(Osgood, Ind.) - The 9th Annual Regional Rube Goldberg Machine Contest hosted by Genesis: Pathways to Success (GPS) and Jac-Cen-Del Community School Corporation and presented by Duke Energy was held on Saturday, February 29, 2020, at Jac-Cen-Del High School. This year, twelve teams of middle and high school students created crazy chain-reaction machines designed to “Turn Off a Light.”

The first national Rube Goldberg Machine Contest was launched in 1988. Nationwide television, radio, and print media attention promote the growth of the contest to make it bigger and better each year. A special guest at the event was Rube Goldberg Legacy Director and Rube Goldberg’s granddaughter, Jennifer George. George commented, “We reach kids before they even know that they’re studying science and engineering, technology, or math (STEM). Our slogan is ‘STEM Starts Here” and it’s true. Little kids in elementary school learn about physics, engineering, timing, addition/subtraction, literally piecing together a Rube Goldberg Machine and it begins the conversation.”

Capturing top honors in Division I was “Stranger Things” from St. Louis School. Second place in Division I was “Christmas Town” from St. Louis School, which also captured the People’s Choice award.

In Division II, “Haunted Halloween” from the Ripley County Engineering Academy captured first place and also won the Peer and People’s Choice awards. Second place in Division II went to “The Greatest Show On/Off Earth” from Batesville High School.

The first and second place winners in each Division are qualified to compete in the 2020 Rube Goldberg Machine Contest Finals scheduled for April 4, 2020, at the Lawrenceburg Event Center. These teams are also invited to exhibit their machines at the Indiana State Museum on Thursday, April 16, 2020, as part of The Art of Rube Goldberg Exhibit.

Teams from Milan Middle School, Batesville Middle School, Ripley County Engineering Academy, and Oldenburg Academy were invited to exhibit their machines at the 4th Annual Greater Cincinnati STEM Collaborative’s 3D Printer (STEM) Showcase on March 18 at the University of Cincinnati.

Special guest, Jennifer George, Rube Goldberg’s granddaughter, presented the Legacy Awards in each Division. Those awards went to “Mad Lab” from Milan Middle School and “A Christmas Story” from Anderson High School. Awards for the Most Creative Use of a Slinky, presented by Genesis: Pathways to Success, went to Milan Middle School and Anderson High School. 

Other teams competing in the contest represented South Ripley Junior High School, which captured the Peer Award in Division I, and Homestead High School, placing 3rd in Division II.

“These students are absolutely incredible,” said Cheryll Obendorf, GPS Director. “The quality of their work improves every year, and I am proud of all of them for the many hours they devote to designing and building their crazy contraptions. They are an inspiration!”

Major sponsors for this year’s RGMC are Hillrom, Honda Manufacturing of Indiana, IN-MaC, and Operation RoundUp (Southeastern Indiana REMC). Event sponsors include Proud Moments Engraving, Woodmizer, and Kids Discovery Factory. 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.

Other sponsors for the event are Batesville (Hillenbrand), Batesville Tool & Die, Chozen Designs, Enhanced Telecommunications, Franklin County Community Foundation, Friendship State Bank, German American Bank, Ivy Tech Community College, Napoleon State Bank, and Obendorf Inc. - A to Z Music, and the Upper Room Café.

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