Students at Stamford's reportedly placed second in the 2012 International Online Rube Goldberg Machine Contest.
Held annually in honor of Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist, sculptor, author and engineer Rube Goldberg, the competition challenges students to "take a simple task and make it extraordinarily complicated." The contest for children aged 11 to 14 is in addition to the Rube Goldberg High School and College Contest.
As per a press release, the team of sixth graders, dubbed "The Mighty Rubber Duckies" — including Kate Janik, Stephanie Tancs, Richard Focke and Michael D'Elia, along with Assistant Principal Phil Adzima — was tasked with creating a complex Rube Goldberg machine that could inflate and pop a balloon.
"Blowing up and popping a balloon this way, with supplies you can find in your home, seemed difficult for us at first," Focke said. "But with teamwork and great ideas, everything came together.”
According to the release The Mighty Rubber Duckies succeeded in creating a machine that could accomplish the goal in 24 steps, using items including dominoes, ping-pong balls, pool sticks, funnels, string, an air compressor and, of course, several Rubber Duckies. In order to complete the task the students applied knowledge and skills they gained through participating in the math and science programs at TCMS.
The team will be recognized with a trophy from the 2012 International Online Rube Goldberg Machine Contest.
To see a video of how the team's contraption worked, click here.