'The Amazing Spaghetti Machine Competition'. The title may sound strange but, in fact, this is simply an event where schools around the state create their own machines to meet a prompt.
The competition is based on Rube Goldberg machines, which are complex, exaggerated feats of engineering designed to complete a simple task. This year’s instruction was to raise a flag.
Throughout the months of preparation, we were required to build a machine that could effectively utilise a variety of mechanisms such as dominoes and marble tracks, so that a flag could be raised at the conclusion of our 30 second segment. Each team across the state was given a budget of $70. However, were able to use pieces from old machines, items collected from the physics lab and objects we had at home to prevent us from spending too much or purchasing unsustainable parts.
From the experience we each developed skills related to the mechanism we concentrated on throughout the course of the project; learning and understanding the different elements to ensure that each step worked accordingly. In addition to this we developed a strong foundation of teamwork, as well as patience, as the process could be tedious at times.
Although it was sometimes difficult to brainstorm or overcome various obstacles, the experience was highly valuable as it enabled team bonding, an investigation of the basics of physics, and a showcase of creativity outside the traditional artistic world.
Keely Rodgers and Emma Gerber, Year 10