2012 Rube Goldberg Machine Contest | Photos

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  • 2012 Rube Goldberg Machine Contest at Chicago Children's Museum

    Photo: Megan Carreon

  • 2012 Rube Goldberg Machine Contest at Chicago Children's Museum

    Photo: Megan Carreon

  • 2012 Rube Goldberg Machine Contest at Chicago Children's Museum

    Photo: Megan Carreon

  • 2012 Rube Goldberg Machine Contest at Chicago Children's Museum

    Photo: Megan Carreon

  • 2012 Rube Goldberg Machine Contest at Chicago Children's Museum

    Photo: Megan Carreon

  • 2012 Rube Goldberg Machine Contest at Chicago Children's Museum

    Photo: Megan Carreon

  • 2012 Rube Goldberg Machine Contest at Chicago Children's Museum

    Photo: Megan Carreon

  • 2012 Rube Goldberg Machine Contest at Chicago Children's Museum

    Photo: Megan Carreon

  • 2012 Rube Goldberg Machine Contest at Chicago Children's Museum

    Photo: Megan Carreon

  • 2012 Rube Goldberg Machine Contest at Chicago Children's Museum

    Photo: Megan Carreon

2012 Rube Goldberg Machine Contest at Chicago Children's Museum

Photo: Megan Carreon


Reuben "Rube" Goldberg was a Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist and author best known for his humorous take on engineering through drawings of contraptions that make everyday tasks extraordinarily complicated, much like the board game Mousetrap. By adding additional steps to simple tasks via intricate sets of wheels, gears, handles, cups and other objects, Goldberg became a household humorist name (not to mention an adjective meaning "complicated" in the Merriam-Webster dictionary).

For the last 17 years Argonne National Laboratory has invited area high school students to come up with their takes on Goldbergian contraptions for its annual Rube Goldberg Machine Contest: This year students were tasked with building a contraption that can inflate and pop a balloon in 20 steps or more. Team #2 from Maine South High School in Park Ridge swept first place, picking up a traveling trophy and a chance to compete in the National Rube Goldberg High School Competition. Students from the following schools also competed:

Antioch Community High School, Antioch
Chicago Christian High School, Palos Heights
Hoffman Estates High School, Hoffman Estates
Joliet Central High School, Joliet (two teams)
Maine Township High School South Team, Park Ridge (two teams)
Niles West High School, Niles
Reavis High School, Burbank
Wilmington High School, Wilmington
York Community High School, Elmhurst

We'd like offer a big congrats to all the participants, especially Main South who will be competing again March 17 at Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Michigan. Great work!


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