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Faith Technologies Intern Demonstrates STEM Skills with Winning Rube Goldberg Team

Rube Goldberg (1883-1970) was a Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist best known for his zany invention cartoons. He graduated with a degree in engineering, but ended up working for Hearst publications, where he published a staggering 50,000 cartoons in his lifetime. To this day, a Rube Goldberg is described by Webster’s as a comically involved, complicated invention, laboriously contrived to perform a simple operation.

The Rube Goldberg Machine Contest (RGMC) is an annual international competition that challenges teams of students from middle school to college age to compete in building the most elaborate and hilarious Rube Goldberg Machine. This year’s Kimberly Kitchen team from Kimberly High School (Wisconsin) received 1st place in the competition with their 69-step machine contrived for this year’s simple task – applying a Band-Aid®, winning them international accolades and a trip to demonstrate their machine on ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live! television show on April 24.

The team advanced to national competition after earning 1st place at STEM Forward’s Wisconsin Regional Rube Goldberg Machine Contest. In addition to their top award at the national competition, they also received the Creative Spark Award, the Teamwork Award, and the Spirit of Rube award.

Logan Paalman, Kimberly High School junior, is currently interning in the preconstruction group at Faith Technologies and is a member of the winning team. “It all came together so quickly,” Logan noted. “I got a text from our teacher stating that we were invited to go to Los Angeles next week and appear on Jimmy Kimmel, and he needed to know who could go. I thought he was joking!” In the past week, travel reservations were secured and the Kimberly Kitchen machine was packed up and sent to LA. The team will have Sunday afternoon to set it up, and taping will take place Monday afternoon for that night’s show.

Faith currently hosts nearly a dozen interns in technical and office roles, helping them apply their school skills in the workplace. Engineering interns perform sketching, CAD modeling and building/fabricating tasks, receiving school credit and valuable on-the-job skills. While it may seem like a silly premise, competitions such as the Rube Goldberg contest teach young people valuable Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) skills, raising enthusiasm for future careers in STEM-related roles. Students learn technical skills and craftsmanship, practice creativity and work as a team, all valuable skills for future success… the ‘Spirit of Rube’ indeed.

Congratulations to the Kimberly High School teams and all who competed. Be sure to watch Jimmy Kimmel Live! on April 24 to see the Kimberly Kitchen machine!