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Date Published: Wednesday, July 20, 2022
Date Updated: Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Wappingers Central School District Donates Special Rube Goldberg Machine to MidHudson Regional Hospital

Schools from the district collaborated to create the machine for patient use in the new pediatric unit

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WAPPINGERS FALLS, N.Y. (July 19, 2022) — Wappingers Central School District is thrilled to have partnered with MidHudson Regional Hospital, a member of the Westchester Medical Center Health Network (WMCHealth), on a special project.

Students Show WMCHealth Representatives the Rube Goldberg Machine
Students Show WMCHealth Representatives the Rube Goldberg Machine

Kindergarten students from Fishkill Plains Elementary, grade four students from Oak Grove Elementary, and high school students from Roy C. Ketcham's Manufacturing class collaborated to create a Rube Goldberg machine that was donated to MidHudson Regional Hospital for patient use in the new pediatric unit currently under construction. Science, technology, engineering and math (STEAM) Professional Development Specialists Tara Koehler and John Sammon coordinated the project.

A Rube Goldberg machine creates a chain reaction, where one action triggers another to move an object (think of the old game "Mouse Trap"). Kindergarten students learned how pushes, pulls and collisions affect the motion of an object. Fourth grade students learned about energy transfer and how
it affects the motion of objects. But students learned more than just science concepts; through the Design Thinking process, they also learned how to build empathy for the users (sick children), how to collaborate on initial design and how to create a final prototype drawing, which inspired the high
schoolers' final design. The high school students reviewed all 91 student drawings and incorporated common ideas: a declining ramp, a whirling mechanism and more.

The machine has a farmhouse theme, which was a popular concept among the students.

The final product was delivered to MidHudson Regional Hospital on July 14. "Our students and staff have done a phenomenal job," said Dr. Dwight Bonk, WCSD Superintendent. "I look forward to continuing this great partnership with MidHudson Regional Hospital!"