Tech Report: 2018 Rube Goldberg STEM Competition

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Tech Report: 2018 Rube Goldberg STEM Competition. (Photo courtesy Rube Goldberg STEM Competition)

(KUTV) — We were joined by Fran Bradshaw (Board President, Utah Aerospace Education Foundation and Director, STARBASE Hill) and Jim Aadland (Treasurer, Utah Aerospace Education Foundation and VP, Utah Air Force Association) to discuss the 2018 Rube Goldberg Stem Competition, which takes place at Weber State University on Friday, Jan. 19.

The competition's purpose is to "encourage team work and problem solving."

The machine competition's task is to pour a bowl of cereal. While this may sound easy, the catch is it must be done Rube Goldberg style:

Elementary school students are now allowed to participate. The elementary school task is a more simple problem solving exercise.

According to Bradshaw, the design challenge is generally released between Sep. and Aug. The kids then have a certain amount of time to build the device.

Participants are encouraged not to buy parts for the device, so as to maximize creativity.

Bradshaw says the process is intentionally difficult and similar to the real engineering design process.

This year's divisions are:

Apprentice Division: Ages 8-11 (elementary school)
Division I: Ages 11-14 (middle school)
Division II: Ages 14-18 (high school)

There is a limit of 9 teams per division.