Ferris State: Best in inefficiency

April 4, 2007 at 8:17 AM

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind., April 4 (UPI) -- Ferris State University won the 19th annual U.S. Rube Goldberg Machine Contest that honors imagination, creativity and inefficiency.

The Ferris State team from Big Rapids, Mich., defeated seven teams to gain first place for the first time in the competition last weekend at Purdue University.

About 1,500 people attended the event that required contestants to take a whole orange, squeeze the juice from it and then pour the juice from a pitcher into a cup -- using 20 or more steps.

Ferris State used a variety of items, including a toy train, a Slinky, cars, a jack-in-the-box, a Frisbee, dominoes and a hobby horse in their machine that required 3,000 hours to build.

The team used 345 steps to complete the task, breaking the Purdue Society of Professional Engineers record of 215 steps set in last year's national competition that involved shredding of five sheets of paper.

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