By Amaris Marte and Jessica Peters
Among some of the collaborative efforts of St. Joseph H.S., Downtown Brooklyn, (SJHS) and LaSalle Academy (LSA) has been their enrollment in STEM programs at Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art. The Cooper Union Innovators Program welcomed a team from both schools to work on an innovative project that were presented at the first Rube Goldberg Contest held at Fieldston H.S. in the Bronx.
Rube Goldberg (1883-1970) was a Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonish best known for his zany invention cartoons. He was born in San Francisco on July 4, 1883 and graduated from University of California Berkeley with a degree in engineering. His first job at the San Francisco Chronicle led to early success, but it wasn’t until he moved to NYC and began working at Hearst publications that he became a household name. It is estimated that he did a staggering 50,000 cartoons in his lifetime.
Rube Goldberg, Inc. is dedicated to keeping laughter and invention alive through the legacy of its namesake. Rube’s granddaughter, Jennifer George, presented the awards.
Many of the participating teams were from independent schools in the NYC area. Most teams from individual schools were comprised of 10-12 students. Our LSA/SJHS combined team had four. The team members were SJHS students Amaris Marte and Jessica Peters, and LSA students Micah Martin and Paul Saliba.
The theme of the LSA/SJHS project was “War & Peace.” The machine that the team constructed moved through Medieval, Renaissance, and Industrial Revolution into contemporary times.
The team’s creative ingenuity along with their knowledge of science, technology, engineering and math allowed an object to move through the design and open an umbrella. The symbolism in an open umbrella is the hope that instead of war peace would always prevail.
Before announcing the first-, second- and third-place winners there was some special awards. The award for Team Cooperation went to LSA/SJHS. Shortly thereafter the 2nd place award was presented to the LSA/SJHS team.
Marte, Class of 2016, will be attending New York City College of Technology-City Tech next fall. Peters is a junior at St. Joseph H.S.