Personal Narrative: A Rube Goldberg Machine

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“You want me to build what?”
“A Rube Goldberg machine. It’s pretty simple…”
A Rube Goldberg machine, by definition, is not simple—especially when you are recruited to build one a week before the first Science Olympiad competition. Two rolls of duct tape, a bag of hot glue sticks, and fourteen consecutive hours of Yo-Yo Ma resulted in a lopsided contraption that managed to win a fourth place medal. In a way, my machine represented my identity. Similar to how galaxy duct tape and neon green golf balls distinguish my Rube Goldberg machine, my experiences in Science Olympiad, research, and art make me unique.
Two years later, Science Olympiad dominates my free time. As a competing member, I study for events by reading textbooks, taking notes, and …show more content…

My first taste was in Costa Rica, where I studied leaf-cutter ants. My lab group studied the antifungal compounds of Pseudonocardia, a genus of bacteria found on Atta and Acromyrmex ants. Scientists have found that Pseudonocardia help protect the ants’ fungal gardens by inhibiting the growth of the parasitic fungus Escovopsis. My lab group tested whether other fungal species were also susceptible to the antifungal compounds. With a pseudo Kirby-Bauer test, we found that the presence of the bacteria inhibited the growth of Aspergillus, but not that of Penicillium. We thought that Penicillium was not inhibited because of structural differences between it and the susceptible fungi, but it is possible that penicillin killed off the bacteria. Unfortunately, the short stay prevented us from confirming our theory, and I left Costa Rica, longing for an extended research …show more content…

My early artistic ventures consisted mainly of inviting friends to draw with me. This soon became a regular activity, an unofficial club. In 2008, we were persuaded to enter the Minnesota State Fair competition, and we each brought home a third premium ribbon. This continued for a couple of years, but our artwork slowly transformed from realistic paintings into silly doodles. Intent on placing higher than third place, I created more serious artwork on my own. After several failed attempts, I achieved this goal in 2011, triumphantly bringing home the ruffly purple ribbon awarded for a grand

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