Rube Goldberg Contest: St. Olaf College Wins Purdue Challenge

Ann McClure's picture

St. Olaf College won the 25th national Rube Goldberg Machine Contest today on the Purdue University campus.

The student team from Northfield, Minn., wowed judges and the audience with a flawless run of its 191-step machine that ended with a balloon being inflated and then popped by a laser.

Based on the theme of an apocalypse, the team combined chemical reactions and mechanical doodads for quirky machine that included a Mayan calendar, erupting volcano and a Earth-style balloon that exploded into a cloud of white smoke.

A student also performed a suite of thematic music on keyboard.

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