Better than another mousetrap

Published 11:32 pm Friday, April 29, 2005

By By ERIN VER BERKMOES / Niles Daily Star
NILES - After putting almost 500 hours of work into their Rube Goldberg machine, eight students from Brandywine High School are traveling to Milwaukee, Wis. to compete in the national Rube Goldberg Machine Contest this weekend.
The contest is named for Goldberg who is a Pulitzer prize-winning cartoonist, famous for sketches of complex machines designed to perform simple tasks.
The students will get the chance to compete against high school students from all over the country, who have built a machine similar to theirs.
Over the past four months students in Jim Derucki's physics class have been constructing a machine that removes a pair of old batteries from a flashlight, installs fresh ones and then turns the flashlight on.
To perform these tasks, contest rules state that it much take least 20 steps. The Brandywine students' machine uses more than 30.
Senior Chad Yeager added that another difficult part about building the machine was making sure they had at least 20 steps to get the job done, but they didn't want to have too many steps either.
To build their machine the students gathered items from home, hand crafted, donated and purchased with funds from corporate sponsor Premier Tool and Die Cast Corp. of Berrien Springs. The company also paid the groups' contest entry fee.
Derucki added that he is really proud of what the students have done with their machine and that 99 percent of the work on their own time.