March 7, 2008
GOLFING WITH RUBE GOLDBERG
On Tuesday, March 11, Clark College students will bring engineering theories to life, inspired by the Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist, sculptor, and author
VANCOUVER, Wash. – The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines “Rube Goldberg” as accomplishing by complex means what seemingly could be done simply. The definition honors the Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist, sculptor, and author whose inventions offered, as his official Web site notes, “a unique commentary on life's complexities” by lampooning the wonders of technology.
On Tuesday, March 11, approximately 60 students in Clark College’s Engineering Club will honor Rube Goldberg by hosting a special competition that, they think, he would have enjoyed. The students will range in age from their teens into their 50s.
“Golfing with Rube Goldberg” will be held from 9 a.m. to noon in the Penguin Student Lounge, located in the Penguin Student Union on the college’s main campus. Clark College is located at 1933 Fort Vancouver Way, Vancouver. The event is free and open to the public.
The students have two objectives: 1) Design and build a Rube Goldberg machine that will release a golf ball onto a pre-made golf ball launcher system and 2) Determine the target distance and can distance for the golf ball.
The machine cannot be any larger than 5 ft. high, 3 ft wide, and 5 ft long and the entire project must cost no more than $20. Machine must have a minimum of 5 steps and a maximum of 10 steps. Teams have a maximum of 10 minutes to set up.
According to organizers, any student is welcome to participate in the quarterly competition. Those who do are generally engineering students.
Engineering professor Tina Barsotti says the college’s engineering department and engineering club hold the competition so that students “can have real world experience with the theory they are learning.”