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Teams to Square Off for Rube Goldberg Contest
Indiana Ag Connection - 02/17/2017

High school and university students continue a Purdue University tradition Saturday with the annual Rube Goldberg Machine Contest.

Originally started more than 60 years ago, the contest is named for Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Rube Goldberg, whose drawings satirized machines and gadgets that he saw as excessive. Each year, complex multi-step machinery is created using household items to accomplish trivial tasks.

Purdue competition coordinator Fernando Escribens of the Purdue Engineering Student Council said this year's competition challenges participants to apply a Band-Aid in the most "creative, overly-complicated way imaginable." Teams from both high schools and universities will be represented at the competition.

Machine demonstrations are scheduled to begin at 11:30 a.m. at the Purdue Armory, 813 Third St. The armory opens to the public at 10:30 a.m.

This year's competition features five Division II (high school) and five Division III (university) teams. Three of the Division III teams are from Purdue: the Association of Mechanical and Electrical Technologists, Purdue Society of Professional Engineers and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

The contest began in 1949 as a competition on Purdue's campus between two engineering fraternities. It died after six years but was re-established in the early 1980s, culminating with the creation of a national Rube Goldberg Machine Contest in 1988.

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