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Tower at UT Austin to glow Orange Monday honoring winners of national Rube Goldberg contest

A team of mechanical engineering students from The University of Texas at Austin won the national championship trophy Saturday with their overly-complicated invention at the 12th Annual National Rube Goldberg Machine Contest at Purdue University.

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AUSTIN, Texas—A team of mechanical engineering students from The University of Texas at Austin won the national championship trophy Saturday with their overly-complicated invention at the 12th Annual National Rube Goldberg Machine Contest at Purdue University.

In honor of their victory, the Tower at UT Austin will glow bright Orange on Monday night.

The national competition honors the late cartoonist Rube Goldberg, who drew complicated machines to perform simple tasks. The task in Saturday’s competition was to place seven items that represent the best inventions and discoveries of the century into a time capsule.

The machine the UT team invented, and successfully operated in the competition against six other teams, started with a silver dollar rolling down tracks and going through 47 steps, ending with a torsional spring rotating the time capsule lid to seal 18 objects inside. They called their winning entry, “Rube Goldberg’s Entertainment Machine.”

In addition to the trophy, the team won a prize of$250 for their approximately 1,000 hours of work which began in October. Their investment in the machine was about $300, said team spokesman Chad Bruns of Sugar Land.

Other members of the team, all Texas residents, are: Daniel Booth of Austin; Neal Tanner of Burnet; Kristen Christopherson of DeSoto; Nikolas Lane of Georgetown; John Franco, Jeff Krimmel and Justin Olsen , all of Katy; Edward Sutherland of Temple and Michael Bruns of Sugar Land. The other contest winners were University of Toledo, second, and Purdue in third place.

For additional information and to view photographs, please visit the Purdue Website at http://news.uns.purdue.edu/UNS/html3month/000408.Rube.nat2000.html.