Calhoun Team Wins Rube Goldberg Machine Contest

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A team from Calhoun competed in the Rube Goldberg Machine Contest on Feb. 6, nabbing first place.

Hosted by the Cradle of Aviation Museum, the Rube Goldberg Machine Contest (RGMC) is an annual international competition that challenges teams of students from middle school to college age to compete in building the most elaborate and hilarious Rube Goldberg Machine.

A Rube Goldberg Machine is an overly complex contraption, designed with humor and a narrative, to accomplish a simple task.

This year’s challenge was to open an umbrella. Two teams from Calhoun competed. "News at 6" went in with a weather theme, and was made up of 10th-graders Taylor Curcio, Greg Scolieri, Matt Advocate, James Demirakos and Steven Manolios. It was their first time entering and they kept with a simple combination of raining day games to complete their challenge of opening up their umbrella. Their machine includes dominos, pieces from a marble game, books, Jenga pieces, amongst other odds and ends. They had two very successful runs of their machine.

The second team, comprised of 10th-graders Joy Ma, Amelia Seabold and James Caracciolo came together for their second year of the competition. They started their Rube journey last year with no experience.  

“This year they came back, committed to giving it their all,” said Jennifer Pefanis, director of the Calhoun Advanced Science Research Program. “They took on the team name ‘A Spoonful of Sugar,’ and they nailed the whimsical aspect of the competition with a Mary Poppins-themed machine, costumes and even a matching skit.”

Their efforts earned them a first-place win and as part of their win, comes the honor of participating in nationals held in Wisconsin on April 23.