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Eldorado HS Students Fire up the Rube Goldberg Machines
Eighth annual Ultimate Physics Event got student creativity flowing
April 24, 2012
Eldorado High School students showed off their resourcefulness when they displayed their Rube Goldberg machines at the eighth annual Ultimate Physics Event on April 23.
They arrived by 6:30 a.m. and had five-and-a-half hours to build their machines from scratch using old junk.
This is the eighth year Eldorado physics teachers Jennifer Coughlin and Marie Teal have put the school’s analytical physics students to this test. Teams of 3-5 physics students and an adult mentor started with whatever they could bring in from their garages, sheds and attics and carry into the school courtyard in one trip.
In this year’s contest—titled “What is your 2012 Prediction of the End…of your Rube Goldberg Machine?”—the machines had to take at least 10 steps to hit a moving target, either a Mayan calendar or a picture of Nostradamus right on the nose. Some 54 teams competed, and 76 adults volunteered to help. Local volunteers and employees from Sandia Labs judged the machines.
“We look forward to this event every year as it allows the community to come to our school and help the students learn science in a fun and realistic way,” Coughlin said. “It also shows all the students on campus how to apply engineering principles in a fun and engaging way.”
“Rube Goldberg” is defined in Webster’s Third New International Dictionary as “accomplishing by extremely complex, roundabout means what actually or seemingly could have been done simply.”