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Ferradermis Members Enter Milwaukee Tools Rube Goldberg Competition 
Rube Goldberg

Members of Ferradermis recently completed their Rube Goldberg Machine for the Milwaukee Tools, “Hit the Nail on the Head,” competition. What was unique about this machine and this competition? Instead of building one machine in the same physical space, three team members, Reilly Aschenbrener, Anderson Waelchli, and Sterling Truesdale, built segments of the machine in their own homes. Created by Milwaukee Tools to be pandemic friendly, the competition required that each segment of the machine perform a virtual handoff to the next segment. The end goal of the project was to hit a nail with a hammer, and Milwaukee Tools provided each competing team with a series of hand tools they could use in the machine. The students chose a game theme for their machine and made use of video games and board game pieces throughout. The first virtual handoff used Super Smash Bros Ultimate; the defeat of a player in the game caused a vibration of the second student’s game controller, which triggered the second segment of the machine. At the end of the second segment a macro recorded on the computer triggered an Arduino project, which started a servo motor on the third segment. The competition was open to high school STEM groups throughout the state. Teams submitted videos of their machine which will now be judged by Milwaukee Tools with the top three entries receiving prizes of additional tools. To watch the video, visit

Author: Laura Masbruch   E-Mail: