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#studentsinaction - Mechatronics Engineering program showcases Rube Goldberg machine

Jim Burnham Rube Goldberg machine

For this week’s #studentsinaction, students in Jim Burnham’s Mechatronics Engineering program show off the inner workings of their Rube Goldberg machine, which ran last Friday for the PM class and this Tuesday for the AM class. 

The project was the culmination of weeks of work where student teams used Duct Tape, cardboard, zip ties, hot glue, dominoes, Lego, and other available materials to make a crazy kinetic machine. Burnham said the goal was for students to use a sensor to detect an event like motion, a falling object, moving objects, light, or another kinetic activity with the microcontroller which then controlled a motor, servo, solenoid, or other electromagnetically device to make something move. 

Creating this kinetic machine was a programming activity, which enabled students to use a microcontroller, sensors, motors and other electromagnetic devices. The lessons targeted the arduino microcontroller and C++ language. 

For more photos, click here. For more information about Mechatronics Engineering, visit 

Shannon Carr