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UW-Stout News Story

Eight area high school teams set for Rube Goldberg balloon challenge

March 5, 2012

How complicated can it be to inflate a balloon and pop it? Judges will find out Tuesday, March 6, in the Great Hall of the Memorial Student Center during the fifth annual Rube Goldberg Machine contest for high school teams.

Competition will run from 9 a.m. to noon, followed by public viewing of the machines at 12:30 p.m. and awards at 1:30 p.m.

High schools with teams entered are Amery, Bayfield, Chippewa Falls, Loyal, Owen-Withee, Pepin, Plum City and Thorp. The top team will advance to the national tournament Saturday, March 17, hosted by Ferris State University in Grand Rapids, Mich.

Teams are challenged to create a machine that turns a simple procedure into something complicated. The machines, which must have a minimum of 20 steps and be a standard size, are judged on creativity and functionality.

The event is named after an early 20th century engineer and cartoonist, whose work spoofed modern machinery.

The event is hosted by the UW-Stout Technology Education Collegiate Association. Event sponsors are OEM Fabricators, 3M Menomonie, Greenheck Fan, KL Engineering, Prototype Solutions, TTM Technologies and Burger King.

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