McKenzie County 4-H'ers Participate In State 4-H Engineering & Design Competition

Three McKenzie County 4-H preteens participated in the North Dakota 4-H State Engineering and Design Competition held on July 23 at the North Dakota State Fair in Minot.

Eleven-year old Dillon Morris, 14-year-old Ethan Morris and 12-year-old Nicholas Ellis designed a machine that watered a plant in 7 steps.

The team prepared a recordkeeping journal, posters and presentation of their experiences and chain reaction steps to complete the task, which was shared with two judges and the public.

The team was awarded a blue ribbon for their project.

The goal of this competition is to encourage critical thinking, creativity, innovation and problem solving in a non-traditional learning event and to have FUN in the process. Youth utilize their STEM knowledge and skills to solve problems, make a plan and design a solution.

The competition originated from Rube Goldberg (1883-1970), a Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist who was best known for the wacky inventions that appeared in his comics. His cartoons appeared in newspapers for more than 50 years.

A Rube Goldberg machine is an overly complex contraption that does a simple task. The Rube Goldberg contraption uses everyday items in a series of chain-reaction steps that accomplish a task. The 4-H Engineering and Design Competition allows youth to use physics, engineering, humor and storytelling.

For more information, please contact NDSU Extension/McKenzie County at 701-444-3451.


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