As little kids, some children play with toy dolls, action figures, or stuffed animals. However, for some kids it is all about building blocks, Legos and machine toys.
On Feb. 12, college students relived childhood fun by competing in the Rube Goldberg competition to build the wackiest machine possible for watering plants.
Mechanical engineering junior Bryan Williams never had the opportunity to compete in Rube Goldberg competitions in high school, but when he entered college he felt this was the perfect opportunity to build, use his imagination and do something he was passionate about.
“I put as much time as possible into this,” said Williams. “It’s a big commitment and takes a lot of time, but it’s worth it in the end.”
The competition, named after the co-founder and president of the American National Cartoonist Society, challenged students to complete the challenge in as many steps as possible within the rules and guidelines that Goldberg sets forth.
“I love building things,” said Williams. “I find it interesting and I get to work with different tools and machines.”
Ferris holds two Guinness World Records for the number of steps in a machine to complete a Goldberg task. The first record was set in 2007 at the National Championship with the winning total of 229 steps. The second was set in Tokyo, Japan, in January 2010 at Fuji Studio. The winning entry had 230 steps.
With Ferris’ astonishing record, Williams feels honored to be part of the team.
Williams and his team dedicated between six to 10 hours a week to brainstorming, planning and building.
“Imaginations come when you really start to use your brains to solve a problem,” said Thomas Hollen, advisor for Ferris’ Rube Goldberg team and chairman of the Michigan high school regional competition, as well as the national high school competition.
Ferris competes with many big universities such as The University of Michigan, Michigan State University, Purdue and Penn State.
“This builds confidence that even though we come from this smaller university up in Michigan, we are as good, or better than, students from major universities,” said Hollen. “We can compete and win.”
The judges were representatives from different companies looking for potential employees to hire. “I hope to get a job out of this,” said Williams. “It’s something I love to do.” n