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LLCC to host Rube Goldberg Competition for fifth graders March 2

Press contact: Kyla Kruse

SPRINGFIELD — “Outlandish machines” designed by area fifth graders will be on display as Lincoln Land Community College hosts the 17th annual Springfield Area Fifth Grade Rube Goldberg Competition on Saturday, March 2. The event will take place from 9 a.m. to approximately 3 p.m. in the student union in the lower level of Menard Hall on the LLCC-Springfield campus, 5250 Shepherd Road. There is no admission fee, and the public is invited to attend. 

This year’s competition involves building a Rube Goldberg that must insert and remove a piece of toast from a toaster through at least 10 different steps. A Rube Goldberg device, such as the board game “Mousetrap,” is an elaborate apparatus designed to complete a certain task through a number of complex steps. 

Area fifth graders are currently developing their own unique Rube Goldberg devices for this year’s competition. They receive assistance from engineer volunteers who visit classes and provide instruction on machines and engineering in general, along with suggestions for their Rube Goldberg device. The purpose of this event is to introduce children to the idea of pursuing a career in engineering or a STEM-related field. 
This year, there will be teams participating from the following schools: Black Hawk Elementary, Graham Elementary, Morrisonville Elementary, Our Savior Lutheran, Riverton Middle, Rochester Intermediate, Southern View Elementary, Springfield Christian, Trinity Lutheran, and Beckemeyer Elementary School in Hillsboro.  
Last year’s task entailed building a Rube Goldberg that would “move a rocket to a launch pad.” Sarah Eyth’s fifth grade class from Our Savior Lutheran, with engineer volunteers Marty Maletich and Phil Raftis from HLR Engineering, took home the top prize locally and at the Engineering Open House at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.