BINGHAMTON, N.Y. (WIVT/WBGH) – Middle school students from surrounding districts gathered at BOCES to put their engineering skills to the test.

Broome-Tioga BOCES held its annual Engineering Day event, where students are split into groups to create a Rube Goldberg machine.

A Rube Goldberg machine entails using a variety of random items in a convoluted way to perform a simple task. Each Rube Goldberg machine functions from the concept, the transfer of energy. Causing a chain reaction from item to item to achieve a task.

A teacher at BOCES, Lora Bury says that the kids come into the competition without any idea of the materials that they might be using.

“So, today, their task is to have a rocket launch into a cup. They get to use a whole mess load of different items such as dominoes, a yo-yo,” said Bury.

Other materials include a ruler, a mouse trap, a big slab of cardboard, and lots of tape.

Teachers and faculty are not allowed to help the students, except for things such as cutting cardboard or measuring.

Lillian Stever is a student from Whitney Point and says that her group managed to get a majority of the machine up and running, but the hardest part is both the beginning and the end.

“We first had to figure out how we start and end it. Cause, the ending process, you have to shoot the dart into the cup, but you have to angle the cup and the dart into the same thing, and then you have to make into the cup and measure the distance and stuff, it’s very complicated,” said Stever.

The teams of four are given roughly two hours to create their machine.

Tomorrow, high schoolers from surrounding school districts will participate in the same event, and students from the BOCES New Visions Engineering program will be the judges for the competition.