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What is a "goldberg machine"?

A goldberg machine is complex series of chain reactions set up to perform one simple task, usually resulting in amusing outcomes. For example, to turn on a light, one may push a ball which knocks over a set of domino blocks, that last of which falls on a switch causing a projectile to fire at the switch, causing the light to turn on. Phew that was tiring - but isn't this a cool alternative to mundane option of standing up and flicking the switch with your finger?

What about this competition?

Goldberg Scholastics is a competition hosted by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers in De Lasalle University aimed at bringing out students' creative thinking in the aspect of engineering design. In the process of developing their own Rube Goldberg Machine, it is also hoped that the students gain interest in taking an engineering course in the future.

In 2009, a pilot competition was held between a few groups of high school students. These students rose to the challenge admirably. This year, SME intends to reach further and initiate a national competition.

The First Leg is Close at Hand!

Hark! The first competition is less than a week away! Some reminders before the competition:

  • A prompt confirmation from entering teams/schools is requested.
  • A blueprint of the machine must have already been submitted via email or fax.
  • A P500 joining fee is required per team.
  • The goal of the machine is to raise a flag.
  • The machine must accomplish the said task with a minimum of 15 steps and maximum of 30 steps.
  • The machine should work for at least 25 seconds.
  • The machine should be able to run fully at least two times.
  • Maximum dimension for the machine will be 4ft x 6ft x 3ft (L x W x H respectively).
  • The maximum size for pre-assembled parts is 3in x 3in x 3in! Teams violating this will be disqualified!
  • Teams will be given three hours to assemble their machine. 30 minutes will be given after for testing and finalization.
Good luck!

What went on before:

On February 7, 2009, 7 schools rose up to SME's challenge to build the most convoluted yet impressive rube goldberg machine:

  1. Miriam College
  2. Xavier School
  3. Makati Hope Christian School
  4. Philippine Science High School - Diliman
  5. Don Bosco Technical Institute Makati
  6. Claret School of Quezon City
  7. Philippine Cultural College
  8. Colegio San Agustin