Rube Goldberg Machine: High Schoolers Make Absurd Plant-Watering Device (VIDEO)

03/01/2011 02:55 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Reuben Goldberg was a jack of all trades: sculptor, author, engineer, inventor. But the man better known as "Rube" is perhaps most famous for his cartoon drawings of overly elaborate machines made to perform simple tasks. Many examples of Rube Goldberg machines are on the internet -- look no further than that amazing OK Go video.

Every year, to encourage creative problem-solving, the Argonne National Laboratory sponsors competitions for high schoolers around the country to construct Rube Goldberg machines. And at last Friday's contest at Chicago's Navy Pier, the kids from Maine South High School put together a marvel.

As NBC Chicago reports, the ten Chicago-area high schools invited to the contest were asked to make a machine that took at least 20 steps to water a plant. The Maine South team took a whopping 45 steps, constructing a whole tiny city just to splash a little water on a houseplant.

Watch their amazing creation at work:

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