PEEKSKILL, N.Y. -- On Sunday, April 3 the Peekskill Iron Devils Robotics Team took part in the New York Rube Goldberg competition at the Engineering Expo in White Plains, coming in second place out of 10 teams from across the state.
The Rube Goldberg Machine Contests are designed to encourage teamwork and out-of-the-box problem solving for students of all ages. STEM and STEAM friendly, Rube Goldberg Machines tackle the most mundane tasks and ask participants to create their own overly elaborate and hilariously conceived contraptions in honor of the competition’s founding father.
This year’s challenge required teams to open an umbrella without any manual intervention. After a long winter of preparation, Peekskill High School students from the Robotics program came up with a contraption to do just that.
“The project is pretty challenging,” said Peekskill Robotics Teacher Carlo Vidrini. “The machine has to stay into predetermined parameters as far as dimensions, and in order to be admitted to the pit it has to have at least 20 steps before it accomplishes the task.” In addition to building the machine, students had to record step by step engineering notes to be presented to a panel of judges as well.
The team’s second place win in this year’s contest comes after they placed fourth in last year’s competition.
“Kudos to our team,” Vidrini said. “Our students represented their school well and I could not be more proud of all of them for this enormous success.”