Keep it simple? No way.

Washington University students’ Green Machine, an elaborate machine built solely to zip a zipper, took second place at the Rube Goldberg 2014 College Nationals April 12 in Columbus, Ohio.

The WUSTL team, led by senior Grace Kuo, majoring in electrical engineering in the School of Engineering & Applied Science and president of the university’s Rube Goldberg Club, also won Best Single Step award for “window-box flowers” and the People’s Choice award in the Rube Goldberg Machine Contest, which celebrates the work of the late cartoonist and inventor Rube Goldberg. Goldberg’s popular cartoons showed how to take a simple task and make it extraordinarily complicated.

Grace Kuo led the award-winning WUSTL team for Green Machine, which featured solar panels, a bike, windmills, laundry drying on a clothesline, two gardens and lots of backyard wildlife.


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