Students Compete in Rube Goldberg Competition for Empowerment Week


As part of Empowerment week, hosted at Lake Erie College by the Pathway to Empowerment signature program, students had a chance to participate in a Rube Goldberg machine competition on Wednesday, March 28, 2019. Six teams including 12 students and two staff members competed for prizes by building the best machine with at least three steps. The winning team consisted of students Wyatt Vernyi, Alex Weinheimer and Josh McDermitt.

Named for American cartoonist, sculptor and inventor Rube Goldberg, the machines are based on cartoons Goldberg drew of complicated gadgets performing simple tasks. Building on the theme of the third day of Empowerment Week, creative problem solving, students were given the chance to build and revise machines until they could knock a cup over. Every team received a bag of approved materials for creating the machine and had an hour to complete it. They could make as many attempts as necessary within the allotted time, and in the end all six cups were knocked over.

President Brian Posler, Vice President for Student Affairs Billie Dunn and Dr. Johnathan Tedesco, Dean of the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics and Associate Professor of Chemistry, judged the contest. Representatives from the Pathway to Empowerment program, Brent Robinson and Annalise Kelleher, presented the winners with Bluetooth speakers as their prizes. For more information on Empowerment week or Pathway to Empowerment, contact Brent Robinson at or Annalise Kelleher at

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