Tyrone Stem AG Club Builds Goldberg Machines

Junior+Libby+Buck+assists+Stem+AG+participant%2C+Nora+Hoy%2C+with+her+Goldberg+Machine.

Junior Libby Buck assists Stem AG participant, Nora Hoy, with her Goldberg Machine.

The Tyrone Area Agricultural Education Program recently offered its second afterschool Stem Ag Challenge to students enrolled in grades fifth through eighth. The second challenge, which was held on Tuesday, January 28, was building Goldberg Machines.

This challenge involved students creating a machine to perform the task of popping a balloon.

It was awesome to see all the machines work and a great way to make new friends. I loved learning how to make new inventions like the Goldberg Machines”

— Wyatt Walls

This task may seem simple, however, the goal of Goldberg Machines is to perform a simple task in an indirect and overly complicated way. Students were measured on how long their machine took and if they were able to accomplish the task at hand.

“It was awesome to see all the machines work and a great way to make new friends. I loved learning how to make new inventions like the Goldberg Machines,” said FFA member Wyatt Walls.

The students were given a wide variety of materials from school books to toy race cars to paint sticks and tape to even mouse traps. With these materials, they were given 30 minutes to build their machine after 15 minutes of research and planning. 

“It was a great experience to talk and teach the kids about STEM and how they can solve problems on their own,” said FFA member Grace Peterson.

Peterson and other high school students guided the students with their research, provided extra hands for building, answered any questions, and helped calculate results. 

“It was fun to hold another STEM AG Challenge and to see what the kids came up with for their Goldberg Machines,” said FFA member Garin Hoy.