Tue, Apr 15 2014
LeTourneau University engineering students will showcase free demonstrations of ingenuity and creativity as five teams compete in the annual Rube Goldberg competition Thursday, April 17. The competition is free and open to the public and begins at 3 p.m. in the Belcher Gymnasium of the Solheim Center on the main campus of LETU, 2100 S. Mobberly Ave.
Students participating in this annual event are challenged to use a maximum number of energy transitions to create unique, yet trivial, inventions. The event is named after Rube Goldberg, an early 20th century cartoonist who was famous for making ridiculous machines to perform unimportant tasks. The idea of the demonstration is to foster the students’ ingenuity and to prove Murphy’s Law exists.
“An excellent example of a Rube Goldberg demonstration might be the popular children’s board game from many years ago called ‘Mouse Trap’ by Milton Bradley,” said engineering professor and Rube Goldberg sponsor Dr. Bill Graff. “In that game, there are many energy transitions, from a steel ball that travels through channels to a boot that kicks over a bucket, all ending with a mousetrap descending to trap a plastic mouse game piece.
“The Rube Goldberg demonstrations are always well-attended on campus because it’s fun to see how complicated our engineering students can make even the most trivial of actions,” Graff said. “Sometimes their inventions work great, but it is always a fun exercise in semi-futility that produces a lot of camaraderie among the students who build these machines.”
A video screen will be set up in the gym to help viewers follow the progress of the inventions through their gyrations. Each invention takes nearly all night to set up for a five to 10-minute presentation. The students in each team and their team demonstrations are scheduled as follows:
Time Team Demonstration Name Team Members
3:10 p.m. 1 “Vinyl Melody” Dustin Brown, Sarah Greenlee, Jordan Lichtenwalter, April Paul
3:20 p.m. 2 “The Pickle Lab” Ben Caley, Matt Epp, Cody Joy, Kyle Sulek
3:30 p.m. 3 “A Rube Awakening” Abdulaziz Babulgham, Adam Lewis, Ryan Tiemann
3:40 p.m. 4 “This Should Be Good” Nickie Hogue, Dan Gohdes, Xavier Scarlett
3:50 p.m. 5 “Whatever” Logan Bryant, Josiah Cochran, Billy DeConstanza, Matthew Joslin
LeTourneau University is a Christ-centered, interdenominational institute of higher learning offering more than 90 undergraduate and graduate degree programs across a range of academic disciplines and delivery models. Students are enrolled in programs on ground at LETU’s residential campus in Longview, Texas, as well as hybrid and fully online options at educational centers in Dallas and Houston.
Academic majors include aviation, business, communication, computer science, criminal justice, education, engineering, health care administration, health science-nursing, human services, kinesiology, the liberal arts, psychology, the sciences and theology.
Claiming every workplace in every nation as its mission field, LeTourneau University graduates are professionals of ingenuity and Christ-like character who see life’s work as a holy calling with eternal impact. For additional information, visit www.letu.edu.