Texas Tech Students Design Difficult Ways to Accomplish Easy Tasks

Goldberg Project gives young engineers a chance to build a better, if not more complicated, mouse trap.

Rube Goldberg's Inventions

An illustration of Rube Goldberg's work shows Professor Butts and the Self-Operating Napkin. Photo courtesy www.rube-goldberg.com.

Need a gadget that will snap a picture for you? Tee up a golf ball without bending over? Help you dodge bill collectors?

Rube Goldberg devised these nonsensical devices and many others in his famous cartoons. His machines used complicated and often absurd processes to complete simple tasks.

Each fall semester Texas Tech civil engineering students have their own chance at devising Rube Goldberg machines. In Civil Engineering Seminar (CE 1130), taught by instructor and researcher Phil Nash, nearly 40 teams of engineering students accepted the challenge to develop machines to leverage a solid wooden cube onto a tall block. The machines had to contain at least two moving parts and incorporate at least eight steps in the process.


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Rube Goldberg Project

See the projects and interviews with Phil Nash and his students. Watch >>


Rube Goldberg

For more information, visit the official Rube Goldberg Web site.