Robotics, hydraulics, contraptions, oh my! This years’ Rube Goldberg competition was top notch at the San Bernardino Airport; hosting three divisions total for elementary, middle, and high school students. With over 40+ teams total, each machine was more advanced and creative than the last and all participants were bursting with team spirit, making my job as a Judge for the elementary school division even more difficult. The elementary school participants were running about in lab coats that dragged on the floor behind them as they set up their surprisingly impressive machines, most twice as tall as the builders, and described all the steps involved to achieve their goal: applying a Band-Aid to a surface. The team spirit was evident, some teams formulated a story about their past as evil scientists seeking world domination, and others wore capes, hoping to save the world alongside their super hero action figures which flew about on clotheslines within their machines. There was also no lack of creativity and ingenuity, I was surprised to see how much robotics were incorporated into the machines, all programmed by the students, and the use of homemade circuits to drive fans and pulleys, also all designed by the participants. As I meandered over to the middle and high school division machines, I was even more impressed. Teams used hydraulics, built full blown rollercoasters, incorporated bicycles, and used advanced robotics and circuits to facilitate their designs and achieve their mission. This event was truly inspiring and exciting, and hearing from young minds that they want to be engineers when they grow up and why was priceless.
Jayapriya Vengadesan (2017-2018)
Jayapriya is an undergraduate student studying bioengineering.
Cindy Yanez (2016-2017)