September 29, 2020


By JEFF BOMBEN

The pressure was on. With only 32 seconds to prove themselves, Conestoga students showed off their Rube Goldberg designs, leaving the school buzzing.

Goldberg was an American cartoonist, sculptor, author, engineer and inventor, who was best known for his cartoons featuring complex gadgets that performed simple tasks in indirect, convoluted ways. These devices are now known as Rube Goldberg machines.

At the Cambridge campus on Nov. 18, the mechanical engineering technology — robotics and automation second-year students showed off their Rube Goldberg machines.

Each one had to have eight stages. For the final stage, the students had to find a way to transfer coffee into a cup.
For extra marks, the students were challenged to slide a doughnut onto a plate. The students only had 32 seconds to complete the task.

They were given three weeks, no budget and little class time to plan and design the machines. The students were divided into small groups to complete the task.

For some, they found it to be a real challenge. This included Kelly Hornblower who was wearing a cape during the event. He talked about his group’s struggle to put the project together.
“It was both difficult and fun. The planning was amazing, it was great to plan it out but it was so hard to get all the pieces to work together, especially the mousetraps,” he said.
“It was hard but in the same frame, it was just entertaining to do something completely ridiculous for once.”

Engineer-technology teacher, Henry Kastner, was excited to see everything in motion.
As the students were being judged, only a few teams had slips up and each team showed a strong knowledge of what they were doing.

David Zivoin of team Ramrod said members did a great job listening to each other and made late changes when they needed to. He said by the end of the week everyone was so drained but they knew that they needed to stick together and finish the project.
Zivoin had a blast with the project and said he cannot wait until round two.
“It was a lot of fun, I loved it. We tried to incorporate a couple of things. I am happy with the water levels and the marbles racing. The only thing we failed was the mousetrap and maybe on round 2,” Zivion said.

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