IRMO, SC - The Center for Advanced Technical Studies (The Center) took home first place at the annual Veeblefetzer Challenge, hosted by Theta Tau Fraternity at the University of South Carolina. Students representing The Center at the event were John Hill, Byron DeJesus and Zachary Moats. The team was coached by Dr. Martin Cwiakala, and Theta Tau mentor Joey Wendt provided support at the event.
Veeblefetzer (/vee’b*l-fetz*er/) is a synonym for any obscure or complicated object or mechanism. A more common name for such a device would be a Rube Goldberg machine. The objective of the competition was to shoot a ball through a hoop in twenty or more steps using the machine, completing the process in two minutes or less. One constraint of the contest was that the machine must fit within a 6-foot cube.
The Center’s team, Principles of Engineering at The Center, spent two weeks to create their machine on a base with three walls that could easily be broken down for transportation. Students responsible for the design represented The Center’s Principles of Engineering and InvenTeam programs. Those students were: Osasuyi Agho, Marven Anayee, Zaire Archie, Jalil Bessant, Berkley Bouknight, Jakob Branham, Ronin Cannup, William Clyburn, Kameron Jacobs, Donovan Kent, Uchechi Joyce Ogbonna, Prathamjeet Singh and Brandon Tucker.
“The Veeblefetzer experience was a class project where students displayed commitment to success through cooperation,” Anayee said.
Clyburn added, “We learned that we have to work as a team to get work done efficiently and done the right way.”
The machine’s process was initiated with a call to a cell phone, which triggered a series of chain reactions that concluded with a Hot Wheel car launcher firing a glue stick into a ping pong ball which dropped through the hoop. The machine will be featured at the fifth annual Columbia Mini-Maker Fair held onApril 29 at the EdVenture Children’s Museum in Columbia, S.C.
“This was an excellent example of how written communication allowed our students to assist in the creation of Princples of Engineering’s vision,” said Dr. Cwiakala. “I am so proud of all of our students who had a hand in this project. It is an honor to win first place at the Veeblefetzer Challenge and is a great day for the Center for Advanced Technical Studies!”