Aggie Burger Machine Places High in Contest

A team of Texas A&M engineers nearly topped collegiate teams from across the country by creatively topping, flipping and building a hamburger.

The annual Rube Goldberg Machine Contest in West Lafayette, Indiana was held Saturday, with the Aggie team finishing second in the 21st version of the event.

The contest challenges engineers to build the most elaborate, creative machine to do a simple task. This year, the challenge was to build a burger with at least one patty, a couple of buns, two veggies and a pair of condiments.

A&M's burger build took 98 steps, which began with a "groundbreaking ceremony" followed by a bursting balloon advertisement, a large cable spool and a high-line worker taking the plunge into an outhouse.

"The task is a lot more complicated than last year," said team captain Sean Moya in a press release from Purdue University, the hosts of the event. "Last year, we weren't constrained as much in the steps. The cards played right this year, and everything came together."

It was a team from the host school that won the competition for the third time in four years. They were victorious with a 156-step process and a global theme, with the machine starting in West Lafayette and circling the world, ending back at Purdue at a tailgate event, where appropriately, the burger was built.

It was Texas A&M's third year at the event, named for famed cartoonist Rube Goldberg, who drew wacky and elaborate machines for years.

More than 1,500 people attended the event Saturday.

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