Turning Off a Light The Rube Goldberg Way (Video) - Humboldt State Now

Turning Off a Light The Rube Goldberg Way (Video)

The goal seemed simple: Power down. How? In the most complicated way imaginable. That was the assignment for Engineering 215 students, who built crazy contraptions as part of the annual Rube Goldberg challenge.

The goal was simple: Power down. How? In the most complicated way imaginable.

That was the assignment for students in Engineering 215. Taught by Environmental Resources Engineering instructor Lonny Grafman, the course includes the annual Rube Goldberg challenge of building a mechanism that accomplishes a task as inefficiently as possible.

The Goldberg engineering exercise, hosted by the Environmental Resources Engineering department for more than a decade, teaches students aspects of design, specifically working in a team on an open-ended question.

Grafman and Green Campus worked together to come up with this year’s objective—to build an apparatus that switches off a power load such as a light or stereo in more than four steps.

“The point is to use design, whimsy, and even evanescence, to inspire the audience to turn off their devices when not in use,” says Grafman.

Watch the contraptions in action!