Rayne High students prepare for Rube Goldberg competition


By Lisa Soileaux

Students of Allyson Romero’s physical science class at Rayne High School are busy putting the finishing touches on their project for next week’s Regional Rube Goldberg Competition set at St. Agnes Academy in Houston, Texas. The prestigious competition will be held on February 28, 2014.

“If we win first place,” states instructor Allyson Romero, “we will compete on April 5th at the national competition to be held in Pewaukee, Wisconsin. That’s the goal the students are setting -- all the way to Nationals.”

The Rube Goldberg Machine Contest (RGMC) is an annual national competition that challenges teams of students from middle school to college age to compete in building the most elaborate and hilarious Rube Goldberg Machine.

A Rube Goldberg Machine is an overly complex contraption, designed with humor and a narrative, to accomplish a simple task.

This year’s competition task is “Zip A Zipper!” Seems like a simple task, but considering once the project is in motion, it can’t be touched and has to perform the task on its own momentum.

The RGMC is STEM and STEAM friendly, and teams and their machines are judged on a range of criteria from complexity, machine flow, creativity, humor and story-telling, along with the successful achievement of the task at hand.

Dating back over 60 years, the contest’s namesake is in remembrance of the late American Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist, humorist and inventor, Reuben Lucius Goldberg, who specialized in drawing whimsical machines with every-day objects that performed a seemingly simple task.

“The students are really excited about Regionals,” state Romero of the competition, “and have our hopes for Nationals. What we are worried about is cost. We have enough for part of the trip, but now we’re trying to raise funds for hotel rooms and traveling expenses.”

Anyone wishing to donate towards the group’s trip can contact the school at 334-3691.

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