Briarcliff Middle School Team Wins Second Place in National Rube Goldberg Contest

Nerd Navigator shakes up a 2nd place finish.

Shaking a box of Nerds candies and pouring them into a bowl is nothing to brag about, but try doing it in 15 steps! Four members of Briarcliff Middle School’s Science and Engineering Club earned their bragging rights when they took second place in the National Rube Goldberg Contest, for doing just that.

The team, named The Nerd Navigators, includes four eighth grade students: Sophie Tanios, Riya Raina, Rhea Karnani and Saanjh Patel, most of whom have previously competed on a Rube Goldberg team back when they were in sixth grade. Using their combined experience, they built a machine aptly named The Nerd Navigator and spent weeks working on designing and building the many steps of the project.

Click on the link to see The Nerd Navigator in action:

“They were selected as a top-10 team and advanced to the next round, where they were voted second place,” said Science & Engineering club Advisor and Science Teacher Jodi Shearer.

“The contest was especially difficult this year as the club did not meet in person on a regular basis. Teams could not simply come up with an idea and try it out immediately like they have done in past years,” she said.

Nevertheless, the team succeeded.

“I want to also congratulate the other Briarcliff team that competed in this,” Ms. Shearer said. The N.E.R.D.S. (New Earth Research & Development Society) team was comprised of a group of sixth graders who were new to the competition.

“Both teams did a great job planning, designing and building their machines,” she added.

The winning team received a $150 award and other prizes. They also won $150 to donate to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.

The awards ceremony was live-streamed and is available here:

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