Doe Science news source
The DOE Science News Source is a Newswise initiative to promote research news from the Office of Science of the DOE to the public and news media.
  • 2017-03-16 17:05:47
  • Article ID: 671454

Lake Park High School Wins Argonne's 2017 Rube Goldberg Machine Challenge

  • Credit: Image by Mark Lopez.

    In 75 steps, Lake Park High School becomes winner of Argonne’s 2017 Rube Goldberg Machine Contest. The team will participate in the National High School Rube Goldberg Machine Contest Finals held in Columbus, Ohio later this month.

  • Credit: Image by Mark Lopez.

    A student from Hoffman Estates High School begins the day by bolting machine parts to the floor for the Rube Goldberg Machine Contest.

  • Credit: Image by Mark Lopez.

    A student from Glenbard South High School provides a narrative of the ball’s journey through the machine as onlookers and judges watch at the Rube Goldberg Machine Contest.

With the goal of creating a complex machine to apply a Band-Aid, Lake Park High School bested six other teams to win the Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory 21st annual Rube Goldberg Machine Contest.

Inspired by video games, the Lake Park team employed concepts from engineering and design to successfully transfer energy 75 times through classic scenes from games like Pac Man, Donkey Kong and Super Mario Brothers.

“That end number wasn’t the goal,” said James Kryger, a physics teacher at Lake Park High School. “They wanted to have all these different video games and in the end, 75 became the necessary number of steps for them create the vision they had laid out for themselves.”

Months ahead of the competition, student teams meet in small groups after school or on weekends to discuss machine design and construction. Once the work begins, however, it becomes clear that this isn’t the type of competition where you can look in the back of a book to find the answer.

In this competition, student teams are continuously challenged to create their own solutions that may or may not lead them to their goal.

“They’re used to sitting down and cranking through problems where you always get a correct solution,” said Kryger. “This competition really helps them to begin to see how complex the world really is by seeking to solve something that doesn’t have a right answer.”

By winning Argonne's contest, the Lake Park team advances to the National High School Rube Goldberg Machine Contest Finals held at the Center of Science and Industry in Columbus, Ohio later this month.

Second place in the competition went to Hoffman Estates High School, and third place went to Benet Academy.

Other participating teams included Glenbard South High School, Luther North College Prep, Maine South High School and New Trier High School.

Information about the Argonne Rube Goldberg Machine Contest for High Schools is available online.

Argonne's Division of Communications and Public Affairs sponsored the February 24th event in collaboration with Chicago Children’s Museum and the National Rube Goldberg Machine Contest. The event is licensed by Rube Goldberg, Inc.

Argonne National Laboratory seeks solutions to pressing national problems in science and technology. The nation's first national laboratory, Argonne conducts leading-edge basic and applied scientific research in virtually every scientific discipline. Argonne researchers work closely with researchers from hundreds of companies, universities, and federal, state and municipal agencies to help them solve their specific problems, advance America's scientific leadership and prepare the nation for a better future. With employees from more than 60 nations, Argonne is managed by UChicago Argonne, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science.

The U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, visit the Office of Science website.

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Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, OHSU Create Joint Research Co-Laboratory to Advance Precision Medicine

News Release PORTLAND, Ore. -- Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and OHSU today announced a joint collaboration to improve patient care by focusing research on highly complex sets of biomedical data, and the tools to interpret them.The OHSU-PNNL Precision Medicine Innovation Co-Laboratory, called PMedIC, will provide a comprehensive ecosystem for scientists to utilize integrated 'omics, data science and imaging technologies in their research in order to advance precision medicine -- an approach to disease treatment that takes into account individual variability in genes, environment and lifestyle for each person.

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UIC to Provide Energy-Saving 'Kits' with $3.1m in Funding From ComEd

The University of Illinois at Chicago's Energy Resources Center has received funding from ComEd to provide energy-efficient LED light bulbs, advanced power strips, and educational material to income-qualified participants in northern Illinois.As part of a $3.1 million year-long investment, the utility company will fund the Low Income Kit Energy (LIKE) program, allowing engineers at UIC's Energy Resources Center to provide energy-saving kits to 35,000 eligible individuals and/or families.

DOE's HPC4Manufacturing Program Seeks Industry Proposals

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Elke-Caroline Aschenauer Awarded Prestigious Humboldt Research Award

UPTON, NY -- Elke-Caroline Aschenauer, a senior physicist at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory, has been awarded a Humboldt Research Award for her contributions to the field of experimental nuclear physics. This prestigious international award--issued by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in Bonn, Germany--comes with a prize of EUR60,000 (more than $70,000 U.

Networking, Data Experts Design a Better Portal for Scientific Discovery

A team of networking experts from the Department of Energy's Energy Sciences Network (ESnet), with the Globus team from the University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory, have designed a new approach that makes data sharing faster, more reliable and more secure.


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Deep Dive Into How Electrons Behave

Unprecedented characterization of subsurface electronic states could lead to better semiconductors and seeing new interactions.

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Multiple techniques to characterize an enzyme complex shed light on how bacteria create particles and contribute to global cycles.

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Arctic Photosynthetic Capacity and Carbon Dioxide Assimilation Underestimated by Terrestrial Biosphere Models

New measurements offer data vital to projecting plant response to environmental changes.

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Non-destructive technique identifies key variations in Alaskan soils, quickly providing insights into carbon levels.


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