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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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Goldberg contests gives students 'chance of lifetime'

'Overengineering' is hallmark of Rube Goldberg contest.

Broadcast on KARE-11, Golden Valley, MN [2/13/2011]

High school students from across Minnesota competed in the annual Rube Goldberg Complex-Machine design contest Friday.

It's the chance of a lifetime for the 200 students, with weeks to think and design above and beyond.

The students are to come up with the most exotic and overdone contraption as they can, to perform that simple task.

The simple task is to water a plant. But by looking at the crazy contraptions inside Minnesota State University, Mankato, it's not so simple after all.

"On the weekends, we'd work from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m," one of the contestants said.

The machines are made from household items and include a ton of themes, from "The Wizard of Oz," a fire truck, to the movie "Toy Story."

This is a special year for this contest. For the first time, the winner advances to the national competition in Michigan next month. In previous years, the winner of Minnesota wouldn't advance anywhere.

"They have to work together and come up with a plan, go through that plan to make it happen," Aaron Budge said, who served as a lead judge. "Another thing, is the science behind it."

The winning team was announced Friday afternoon. They are from Southland High School in southern Minnesota.

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