Anderson Harp, technology integrator, offers the following report detailing the Middle and Upper School boys’ excellent showing in the Rube Goldberg Competition held on April 3 at White Plains High School:
This regional engineering-type competition presents the perfect methodology and outlet to inspire young minds in STEM and STEAM curriculum. Using science, technology, engineering and math as foundational components, teams built chain-reaction machines designed to ultimately open an umbrella. Now add Rube Goldberg’s silly humor and artistry to the mix, and watch the fun begin! Browning boys exceeded expectations and truly embodied the spirit of the School.
Five boys represented the Upper School. Their design titled “Gotham” proved a worthy opponent despite a field of larger groups with more experience. Twelve boys comprised our Middle School squad. Using primarily duct tape, the boys designed an elaborate contraption titled “DC/Marvel Villains and Heroes” and showed well in the first-ever live competition for this age group.
Now, have you ever heard that opening an umbrella indoors is bad luck? Well, my colleague and science teacher Ms. Ting and I have been advising the boys every Thursday and Friday after school since October as they practiced this simple task. Two umbrellas broke in the “Gotham” machine before judging. Yet, with resilience the guys repaired one with our supplies planned for “just-in-case.” Then the Middle School boys stumbled in the first of two scored machine runs when half their project collapsed in front of the judges. Regardless, all hands on deck rushed to battle stations and rapidly re-engineered and repaired to make an impressive comeback for machine run #2.
By 3 p.m., judges gathered at the podium to announce results. Nine high school teams and six middle school teams from across the Lower Hudson Valley submitted projects ranging from simple to complex and novel to clever. I’m excited to report Browning’s Middle School team won third in the live competition for this age group. There were two major awards for first place and the Legacy Award. Jennifer George, Rube Goldberg’s granddaughter, made special note at the ceremony of one team that stood out from the crowd by modeling her grandfather’s true legacy and personality through their machine’s story. Ms. George named the Browning Upper School team winners of the Legacy Award! Truly surprised, the boys made their way through the crowd and were the only team to be photographed with Ms. George who is chairperson of the organizing foundation.