Each year, the University of Texas at Austin AIAA (American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics) student chapter aims to build a Rube Goldberg machine, which is then presented at the University's Rube Goldberg Machine contest. The machine is based on the complicated devices featured in the famous newspaper cartoons by Pulitzer Prize-winning artist Rube Goldberg. Groups are given an elementary challenge such as peeling an apple or sharpening a pencil, but must do so in a minimum of twenty steps - the more, the better!

This year's National Rube Goldberg Challenge was to remove both old batteries from a two-battery flashlight, install new batteries, and turn the flashlight on. UT Aerospace Engineering students chose to light up a replica of the UT Tower for their flashlight, and were chosen to represent UT Austin and Aerospace Engineering at the National Rube Goldberg Competition at Purdue on Saturday, April 9, 2005.

UPDATE: This year's AIAA Rube Goldberg team placed third in the National Rube Goldberg Competition!  Congratulations go out to all team members for their hard work and dedication:

Jesse Franceschini, Randy Lum, Ronald Lum, Julie Mitchell, Jonathan Reyes, Stephanie Sellers and Steve Walker.

For more information about the Rube Goldberg Machine contest, visit the official Rube Goldberg website.