Physics and Engineering Camp for Girls:
Building a Rube Goldberg Machine
July 7-12, 2013
Building a machine that uses a number of whimsical, counterintuitive steps to accomplish a very simple task might sound like a fun challenge, but it’s also the perfect way to learn physics and engineering. Each of the machine’s steps must be as efficient as possible and take into account various physics principles in order to make the entire creation work. Participants in this camp will gain hands-on engineering experience by working in small groups to construct a Rube Goldberg machine.
Working with faculty who have supervised the team of students who won the 2009 & 2012 national Rube Goldberg Machine Contest held annually at Purdue University (see a video of the machine by searching “St. Olaf Rube Goldberg” on YouTube), participants in this camp will learn principles and techniques utilized by engineers and scientists every day as they build their own machines. They will then demonstrate their completed machines to their peers, family, and friends on the last day of camp.
This camp is open to girls entering grades 9, 10, 11 or 12 who find science challenging and fun.
This year, the Pentair Foundation is covering the tuition costs for all of our Engineering and Physics campers. Tuition includes housing in a college residence hall (linens, towels and pillow provided), meals from Sunday dinner through Friday lunch, class materials and two camp t-shirts. Pentair is a leading water, fluid, thermal management and equipment protection company with 30,000 employees globally. One of its Foundation focus areas is helping to build the next generation of engineers and innovators.
Limited airfare stipends are available for girls in need. Please contact the summer camp office for details via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Apply online (click here) by April 1. Notification of acceptance will arrive via email by the week of April 15.
Engineering and Physics Camp Features
- Classrooms and laboratories in Regents Hall of Natural and Mathematical Sciences
- Hands-on experience using tools to construct complicated machines
- Creative problem solving and teamwork with other girls interested in science
- A Rube Goldberg Machine Exhibition
- An astronomy outing on the campus natural lands
- Camp staff with experience in the national Rube Goldberg Machine Contest
- Meeting professionals working in the field
- Career exploration
- Tour state-of-the-art laboratories while research is being conducted
- Low camper to staff ratio
- Enriching social activities