SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCIA) — Some 5th graders get to release their inner “Rube Goldbergs” in an upcoming competition. Lincoln Land Community College is hosting the 14th annual Springfield Area Fifth Grade Rube Goldberg Competition, Saturday, February 29.
It’s the only Rube Goldberg program in the country geared toward elementary-aged kids. A Rube Goldberg device is an “outlandish machine” designed to complete a specific task after undergoing a series of complex steps. Students develop their own unique devices with help from engineering volunteers who provide instruction on machines and engineering in general.
The purpose of the event is to introduce kids to the idea of careers in engineering or similar fields. This year, nearly a dozen teams are competing in the challenge to stack a minimum of three items representing the components of a possible hamburger after completing at least ten different steps.
Last year, teams had to generate a minimum of four distinct and separate sounds after completing at least ten different steps. Teresa Wolters’ class, from Springfield Christian, with engineering volunteers Adam Pallai, of Martin Engineering, and Al-Barrae Shebib, with IDOT, took first place. The event is free and open to the public.
14th annual 5th grade Rube Goldberg Competition
LLCC Student Union
Menard Hall, lower level
Saturday, February 29
9:30 am – 2 pm