NPHS team 4th at Rube Goldberg contest

Students from New Prague High School finished fourth among 18 teams at the annual Rube Goldberg Machine Contest at Minnesota State University, Mankato on Friday, March 3.

Teams were competing to design the most elaborate and hilarious (but also functional) ways to apply a Band-Aid. This year teams from Minnesota and Iowa had to come up with at least 20 steps to apply a Band-Aid. The teams at the competition vied for the regional title and to qualify for the Rube Goldberg Machine Contest on Sunday, March 26, at the Center of Science and Industry in Columbus, OH, where teams will compete to become the Rube Goldberg Machine Contest Division II champion.

The New Prague Rube-EOs team came up with 26 steps for this year’s machine. The 10-person team began work in November and put together the project that put a Band-Aid on a lawn gnome that was found during the City-Wide Cleanup years ago. Team Rube-E-Os includes (with nicknames) Kyle "Engineer" Amidon, Danny "Chess Board" Musil, Colin "In Charge" Macris, Kade "Flower and Ramp Guy" Eggum, Mason "Problem Solver" DeGross, Riley "I'm the Painter" Weckman, Jake "String Cutter" Wilson, Charlie "Feather Car Racer" Jirik, Joseph "Transportation Specialist" Beatrez and Evan "Last Step Velcro" Kivi.

On Thursday, March 2, the New Prague team was packed up by 7:45 p.m. “We once again were able to get the help of a local cabinet shop to transport the project to Mankato,” said teacher advisor Rich Wilson. “We also had the great support from the New Prague Community Education team.” On March 3 New Prague was down three students due to illness and busy schedules. The seven there worked like a well-oiled machine or beehive. The chemistry of the crew was fun and upbeat. They rebuilt the project in the upper floor of the Centennial Student Union at Minnesota State University, Mankato. The boys avoided the 22 steps up to the ballroom and with good planning rolled their project onto the elevator. The other 15 to 16 teams relied on extra muscle and hope that their projects would make it up the stairs.

This year there was a new national format of having two groups judging the teams’ projects. One group checked for team spirit, teamwork, and the spirit of Rube Goldberg and the other group judged each of the steps and how they went.

Teams introduced their projects and told its story. New Prague had four students role play a story where Jake Wilson wanted to play baseball but his Dad said he had to clean the garage first. They compromised by having Jake put away the chessboard, fix the mousetraps and put a Band-Aid on a bleeding lawn gnome. “The judges wanted humor, a good story, and build up to some of the steps in the project,” said Rich Wilson. Mason De- Gross, with great energy, a smile, and no script explained the 26 steps (including the transfer of energies from step to step).

Jake Wilson cut the string to set off the project. Kade Eggum and Mason DeGross acted as the “interveners," where they were allowed to touch the project to keep it going in case anything stalled after it was started. Their help wasn’t necessary as the first run went flawlessly.

The boys had....

To see more on this story pick up the March 23, 2017 print edition of The New Prague Times. 

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