Some of the brightest East Texas minds showed off their bizarre, and even comic, designs at the annual engineering effort, dedicated to building a better mousetrap. It was the Rube Goldberg competition at LeTourneau University in Longview; a test of ingenuity and creativity. Three teams competed in the annual tribute to the most off-the-wall designs in engineering.
"They have to have some electrical stuff in it, because this is an electrical engineering course. Creativity is a big point here; I want them to have creativity," says LeTourneau electrical engineering professor Bill Graff.
Students have to use a number of energy transitions to create unique sequences to perform a simple task.
"We involve all three aspects: the computer, the electrical, the mechanical," says junior Jordan Swavely.
But it doesn't always go smoothly.
"It's frustrating. That's what it is. We take all the things we've learned and we apply them in a team base and we put many hours into them," says engineering student Aaron McConnell.
The biggest asset is problem solving.
"Problem solving is a big deal. You want to sit down with your group and talk ahead of time and try to brainstorm because somebody else is going to see something you don't see," Swavely says.
There is no ranking of the teams; everyone who participates is graded for their effort. LeTourneau University has held this competition for the past 30 years.
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