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Jury Sulungbudi, head of the National Greenmech and Robotics Race Jury (with white T-shirt and glasses) assessed the Rube Goldberg mechanism by Santo Antonius 1Elementary school Semarang's team in the National Race of Greenmech and R4M (Robot for Mission) at Tarumanagara University, Jakarta on Saturday (19/5) / 2018).

Nurturing Interest In Science

” Following a mechanical assembly competition  is one of the efforts to hone students’ skills in science, technology, math, science, and the arts.”

JAKARTA, KOMPAS – Students’ interest in science, technology, math, engineering, and art classes should be nurtured as early as possible. Following Rube Goldberg’s mechanical assembly competition is one of the methods of giving them the motivation to learn.

“Students are keen to follow the competition because they can work together with friends. There is also a chance to go out of town, “said Janto V Sulungbudi, Head of the Physics Laboratory of Parahyangan Catholic University in Bandung. He acted as a chief adjudicator on the National Race of Greenmech and R4M (Robot for Mission) at Tarumanagara University, Jakarta on Saturday (19/05/2018).

Greenmech is a competition to create the mechanical structure of the Rube Goldberg Machine that connects the various functions of mechanics and green energy through complex operations to solve simple problems. The R4M is a competition for designing robots using STEAM-based scientific principles (science, technology, mathematics, engineering, and the arts).

This competition was hosted by Rumah Edukasi as World Association Greenmech in cooperation with Tarumanagara University and Parahyangan University. The winner will join the global level competition in Taiwan in early August.

The green mech competition was joined by nine teams from elementary to high school level. They were asked to build Rube Goldberg’s mechanics from beams and pipes, a series of simple scientific principles. For the elementary category, the challenge was to make the mechanics produce sounds, while for junior and senior high school the challenge was to hoist the flag as high as 30 centimeters.

Rube Goldberg’s mechanics require structural design skills; mathematics; and simple engineering to move parts by using electricity, wind, water, or incline. This makes learning science fun and challenging.

As Janto explained, the elementary category of mechanical design is still made by the teacher. Students are asked to re-assemble the structure at the race site. As for junior and senior high school students, they should be involved in the process of designing the structure.

An example is a team from SMA Bintang Mulia, Bandung. In addition to using beams required by the committee, they also use used materials such as rinking bottles and cardboard.

“If we only use the required beam, the structure will not be firm. So we use plastic bottles and cardboard to create a path that will move the ball of other mechanisms that create a domino effect, “said Delicia Evangeline (18), a student of Bintang Mulia. XII high school.


Drilling patience

In addition to assembling the Rube Goldberg mechanism, the race also educates students to be patient and to cooperate. According to Janto, an emotional team will be difficult to assemble and ensure the mechanism works, hence the difficulty in getting a proper judgment from the jury.

Let’s take Marsudirini eElementery School BSB Semarang who won the Elemantery School category for example. Throughout the race, they seemed tense because their mechanism did not work at one point. However, they were still able to maintain teamwork. Andrefrain from scolding each other.

“Initially it was tense, all (team members) were busy assembling blocks. Finally, we ended up encouraging each other. Besides, other teams were also in difficulty, not just our team, “said Christian Davidson (12) students of 5th grade of Marsudirini Elementary School BSB Semarang.


Private dominated

The Greenmech race is still dominated by private schools. The Director of Home Education – an institution that provides science training to teachers and provides blocks of basic structural materials – Mulia Anton, revealed that only private schools are able to purchase Greenmech training tools. Even if the school does not have a budget availabale, parents can contribute.

“For public schools, there are obstacles because they can not accept donations. Meanwhile, if they waited for the budget from the government it would take a long time, “said Mulia.

Even so, continued Mulia, the school can still join the race with a homemade device. The most important thing is to meet the requirements of building structures according to the rules of the race.

Source: Kompas (Monday, May 21, 2018)