Using marbles, an old fan, a toilet seat, and other items found in the street — plus a lot of ingenuity — physics students at Ánimo Venice Charter High School recently succeeded in…erasing a chalkboard.
What might sound like an exercise in impracticality turned triumphant for the Green Dot school students, whose convoluted board-cleaning system proved the winning entry in this year’s regional Rube Goldberg Machine Contest (RGMC), named for the late engineer-turned-cartoonist who imagined wacky contraptions that performed basic functions. The RGMC began in 1988; regional winners will be judged early next year. Past national champions have gone on to appear on The History Channel, “Late Night With David Letterman,” ABC’s” Jimmy Kimmel Live!,” CNN, and many other TV shows.
“Combining all the knowledge they have about everything in life and working as a team to put it together was an incredibly valuable experience,” says Ánimo Venice physics teacher Christine Hannouche. “In the end, actually letting them try all their crazy ideas got us to first place.”
The Rube Goldberg Machine Team was followed by the media outlet Voice of America.