Special visitors include Goldberg’s granddaughter Jennifer George and renowned kinetic artist Joseph Herscher
PEWAUKEE, Wis. (Tuesday, April 1, 2014) | Zipping a zipper is, by most accounts, a rudimentary task. But to zip a zipper in 20 steps or more presents a variety of challenges. To achieve such a task takes patience and strategy, trial and error, and a good dose of humor.
Nearly 300 high school students from throughout the United States will converge on the Waukesha County Technical College
campus (Service Building – Gymnasium) Saturday, April 5, to showcase their complicated zipper machines in the Rube Goldberg Machine Contest
– National High School Competition, with Time Warner Cable as the presenting sponsor. The contest challenges students to take an elementary task and provide a complex, convoluted solution using ordinary objects, mechanical gadgets and miscellaneous odds and ends. The national contest pits the top teams throughout the country against one another for the opportunity to be the grand champion.
Two special guests will be in attendance at the high school national competition: Jennifer George and Joseph Herscher. George is the granddaughter of the late Rube Goldberg, the Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist, sculptor, author, engineer and inventor for whom the contest is named; and Herscher is a New York-based kinetic artist whose Rube Goldberg-inspired machines have made him a YouTube sensation among millions of viewers.
The main goal of the contest is to encourage critical thinking and problem solving in a non-traditional manner. This is the second year WCTC will hold the high school nationals; the College has held the Milwaukee regionals on campus for the past four years.
“WCTC is thrilled to again host the Rube Goldberg Machine Contest nationals. The machines at regionals were amazing, and students used a lot of creativity and imagination in coming up with their designs. The national competition will bring together the best of the best, and five of the participating teams are right here from Wisconsin,” said Mark Rzeznik, WCTC associate dean of Graphics and Engineering Technologies.”
“This event will provide students a fun, hands-on STEM experience,” said Jack Herbert, area vice president of operations at Time Warner Cable, the presenting sponsor of the event. “Events like this challenge students and show them that STEM is more than just what they learn in the classroom – it’s also about solving real-world problems, allowing them to discover science and technology in a whole new way.”
Time Warner Cable’s main philanthropic initiative is Connect a Million Minds, engaging students in STEM.
The event begins at 10 a.m., followed by preliminary and special award judging at 10:15 a.m., lunch at 11:30 a.m., finals at 1 p.m. and awards at 2:30 p.m. Members of WCTC’s faculty will be among the professional engineer volunteer judges from the Milwaukee area who will provide valuable feedback to students.
Schools participating in the nationals include:
Columbia Christian School – Magnolia, Ark.
Trinity Catholic School – Stamford, Conn.
Minooka Community High School – Minooka, Ill.
Reavis High School – Burbank, Ill.
Sparta High School – Sparta, Ill.
Southeastern Career Center –Verailles, Ind.
Columbia Central High School – Brooklyn, Mich.
McDonogh School – Owings Mills, Md.
Southland High School (Happy Camper Team) – Adams, Minn.
Southland High School (Winter Wake Up Team) – Adams, Minn.
North Rockland High School – Thiells, N.Y.
St. Agnes Academy – Houston, Texas
Homestead High School – Mequon, Wis.
Loyal High School – Loyal, Wis.
New Auburn High School – New Auburn, Wis.
Pius XI High School – Milwaukee, Wis.
St. Catherine’s High School – Racine, Wis.
The public is welcome to attend the event.
About Waukesha County Technical College
Waukesha County Technical College, the leader in workforce development, prepares learners for success within the region and global economy. The College offers more than 130 areas of study including associate degree, technical diploma, apprenticeships and short-term certificate programs; customized training for employers is also available. To learn more, visit www.wctc.edu