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Homestead club in Rube Goldberg machine national finals

Wednesday, March 6, 2013 - 12:01 am

Homestead High School's Science Club advanced to the Rube Goldberg Machine Contest national high school finals after winning first place at a regional contest Saturday at the COSI science museum in Columbus, Ohio.

The national finals take place March 16 at Waukesha County Technical College in Pewaukee, Wis.

The Homestead team and their machine, “Space Exploration,” competed with 16 teams from Indiana, Ohio and Michigan, Mark Lenfestey, team sponsor and Homestead Science Department chair, said in a news release. Teams' machines had to use at least 20 steps to hammer a nail in less than 2 minutes.

Homestead's machine uses 30 steps to complete the task, Lenfestey said. Steps include starting the machine by pressing the “Space” key on a computer keyboard, a balloon popping to simulate the Big Bang Theory, “Star Wars” figures chasing one another and a cow jumping over the moon. Other steps include an alien spaceship beaming up cows to abduct them and a moon falling to trigger the hammer to drive a nail into the moon, flipping up an American flag.

Homestead team members are Brooke Adams (team captain), Parker Angelos, Daniel Clark, Natalie Hawken, Jason Ivanovic, Weishan Liao, Wei-Lin Liao, Melissa Marks, Stephen Mattson, Anna Tatara and Jeremy Tatara.

The Rube Goldberg competition started in 1949 at Purdue University in West Lafayette. It was inspired by the creations of Rube Goldberg, a nationally syndicated and Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper cartoonist who specialized in drawing highly complicated and comical machines to do a simple task.