Future Engineers Get Inventive at Wake Tech

May 7th, 2012


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RALEIGH, N.C. (April 28, 2012) — The wheels are turning at Wake Tech! Seventy pre-engineering students from Wake Tech and Central Piedmont Community College faced-off in a “Rube Goldberg” contest on Main campus. The contestants, students in introductory engineering classes, worked in teams to design and build a machine that could perform a simple task in a complicated way. The machine had to be able to pop a balloon in a process that included at least five distinct steps. Each step utilized gravity, mechanics, sound waves, light, electricity, or some other principle of physics. Wake Tech students Kevin Sawyer, Khoi Nguyen, and Jason Eaton took first place. All the students are required to submit written reports of their projects. 

 

The competition is named after Rube Goldberg, an engineer-turned-cartoonist who created numerous contraptions and won the Pulitzer Prize for his depictions of simple machines - levers, pulleys, wheels, and gears - completing simple tasks.

The Rube Goldberg competition is one of eight projects required for Wake Tech students in introductory engineering classes. The students are working toward their Associate in Science: Pre-Engineering degree in anticipation of transferring to a four-year institution. The contest helps them learn how physics and engineering are integrated and develops team-building skills.

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