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Southwest Shadow


Senior, Junior Engineers Compete To Construct Best Project

Classes attempt to create most impressive Rube Goldberg Machine
Jianna Aganon
Senior Jayson DeGuzman works with his group to plan out his class’ Rube Goldberg machine. “The Rube Goldberg machine project was fun and different from what we’ve done in Engineering,” DeGuzman said. “Personally, I’ve liked to build things ever since I was a kid and being able to build something big like that with all my friends was pretty cool.”

For their first project of the year, the junior and senior Engineering classes are competing against each other to design the best machine by improving and testing their designs to completion.

“Working on the project has been exciting,” senior Hopson Tan said. “It’s been really fun, yet challenging at the same time. This is something that I look forward to every class.”

The objective of the project was to teach both Engineering classes about collaboration and further teamwork, as well as exposing students to the trials and errors of the real-world engineering process.

“It emphasizes the importance of not only working in your own team, but being able to show that when you have a team and another team that needs to work together, there’s ways to do that process,” Engineering teacher Wayne Davies said. “Especially when you’re talking about engineering, there’s ways that the industry does this, to kind of ensure that things work the right way and things get done in the right process.”

The goal in mind was to create the best functioning Rube Goldberg Machine, a device designed to carry out a chain of simple actions when triggered.

“We had to build a Rube Goldberg machine which is essentially a very large contraption with a bunch of different small parts that all lead into each other without any human interaction,” senior Ayden Bybee said. “It starts at one end and goes through a bunch of different parts and does something. Ours specifically, we had it starting at one end of the shop and going over to the other end, dropping a banner down and taking a picture of our class.”

To complete the project, classes spent the first few months of school researching the different types of Rube Goldberg Machines and brainstorming their own designs.

“Some groups had dominoes, some groups had falling pieces, one group had a Hot Wheels track, we did a boat going across water,” senior Logan Ford said. “Just finding any different parts that we could have for the project.”

The students spent several class periods building and testing their machines, continuing to build them early into the second quarter.

“We started by planning out and gathering materials,” junior Connor Wiggins said. “It [started] pretty slow, but it’s picked up pace, especially as the seniors have ramped up theirs. The natural competition drive has kicked us into gear.”

After several weeks of working on their contraptions, the juniors and seniors completed their designs, with many students feeling mixed feelings about their class’ Rube Goldberg machine.

“For my group, I feel confident, but when I was looking at the other groups and how their project connected to ours, it was a little iffy,” junior Rediate Hunde said. “When we tried to do like a whole test run to see if it would work, there was always like a hiccup in somebody’s machine”

The competition has sparked a competitive spirit between the junior and seniors, as they compete to be voted as the more entertaining Rube Goldberg machine.“It’s been really fun, yet challenging at the same time,” senior Hopson Tan said. “It’s not so often that you get to collaborate with so many people in school to create something so unique and cool.”

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    MIchael HaleyNov 9, 2023 at