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Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

High School Students Strive to Build a Better Bologna and Cheese Sandwich

April 5, 2001

High School Students Strive to Build a Better Bologna and Cheese Sandwich

Troy, N.Y. — Making a bologna and cheese sandwich would seem to be a simple project involving a plate and a knife, some bread and, well, bologna and cheese.

But not if you are a contestant in the annual Rube Goldberg Contest, named after the Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist who dreamed up elaborate contraptions to perform the simplest tasks. Four Questar III seniors enrolled in the New Visions program at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have been planning their project since January.

New Visions is administered by the Center for Initiatives in Pre-College Education at Rensselaer.

“New Visions is a program for students who are considering a college major in math, engineering, technology, or science. The program provides an opportunity for students to get hands-on personal experience with collegiate laboratory research and course work,” said the New Visions teacher, Tammie Borland.

Contestants must use at least 20 steps to complete their sandwich-making task. Without giving too much away, the Questar III project involves a bone, a mousetrap, a spatula, a plastic spider, and lots of plastic tubing.

The Questar III students attend Averill Park High School, Coxsackie-Athens High School, Ichabod Crane High School, and South Colonie High School.

The Questar III students will compete against 16 other teams from 14 other high schools in the regional Rube Goldberg Contest this Saturday, April 7, at Union College in Schenectady.

Contact: John Scharf, Questar III public information officer, (518) 732-7266 or

Contact: Patrick Kurp
Phone: (518) 276-6531
E-mail: N/A