Drafting students create Rube Goldberg machines

Students in the drafting and CAD class have recently been building machines to learn about problem solving


By Madison Ferguson

After completing the Rube Goldberg unit, engineering teacher Helga Brown helps junior Natalie Kalma submit a report.

Michael Sandri, JagWire reporter

Over these past few days, students in the drafting and CAD class have started to construct Rube Goldberg machines.

A Rube Goldberg machine is a contraption that is designed to perform a simple task in a more complicated way. This assignment takes only a few days and is part of the problem solving unit of the class, which is engineering teacher Helga Brown’s favorite unit.

“I love this unit of the class because the kids get to work in groups and it is a nice break from working on the computers for so many assignments,” Brown said.

Sophomore Eric Shanker, who is currently in the class, also enjoys the problem solving unit because he gets to socialize with other students.

“I really like working with other people in the class,” Shanker said. “Everyone brings their own strengths to the table and brings something new to each project.”

Working together on the project is essential in order to finish in time.

“My group did a really good job managing our time,” Shanker said. “We honestly did a really good job all around. When one person was building, another person could be working on designs or drawing sketches. Everyone was contributing all the time.”

The project is even fun for people not enrolled in the drafting class. Junior Ryan Praiswater enjoyed looking at the Rube Goldberg machines because he did the same thing when he took the the class.

“It was really cool just to test out all machines that were set up. It reminded me how much fun I had when I made my own,” Praiswater said.

Each of the machines is very unique and is built to perform a specific task, according to Shanker.

“My group’s machine had a lot of different components,” Shanker said. “It is probably most recognizable by the toy tow truck that pulls its way up a hill…”

Projects like the Rube Goldberg machines are part of the reason Shanker is eager to come into the class.

“It’s a lot of fun looking at your finished product and then knowing that you get to start the building process again next class,” Shanker said.

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