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Rube Goldberg teams will try to hammer a nail in this year's competition

Thursday, February 14, 2013 - 11:29 am

College and high school teams will try to create machines taking as many steps as possible to hammer a nail for this year's Rube Goldberg Machine Contest on Feb. 23 in the Armory at Purdue University in West Lafayette.

The event, sponsored by Purdue's Phi Chapter of Theta Tau engineering fraternity, is named for late cartoonist Rube Goldberg, who drew whimsical and complex machines that performed simple tasks.

The event will begin at 10:30 a.m.; doors open at 9:30 a.m., a Purdue news release said. The contest, which is free and open to the public, is part of National Engineers Week events at Purdue.

Teams will be judged on the complexity, creativity and ingenuity of their machines, the news release said. To win, a machine must complete at least two successful runs out of three attempts. Judges deduct points if students have to assist the machine once a run has started.

Four teams from Purdue will be among the contest entries, the news release said. The competition winner will advance to the national championship March 30 at the Center of Science and Industry (COSI) in Columbus, Ohio.

Six Indiana high school teams also will compete: Clinton Prairie, Kouts, Richmond, Anderson, Eastbrook and Spencer-Owen Community Schools.

The high school winner will advance to a national competition March 16 at Waukesha County Technical College in Pewaukee, Wis.