ST. CLOUD -- Third through 12th grade students from across the state are proving anything is possible if you put your mind to it.

Over 200 4-H kids gathered inside the field house at St. Cloud State University to showcase their engineering skills involving Rube Goldberg machines.

Michael Compton is an Extension Educator from the University of Minnesota and director of the 4-H STEM programming. He says the kids are judged on several criteria.

We have a Level 1 for third through 8th graders, and they use 10 or more simple machines. Then we have a Level 2, which is new this year, they have to use four types of engineering for their challenge.

Compton says they used to have this challenge at the Minnesota State Fair, but lack of space caused them to change venues.

The idea was to bring as many teams as we can together, so the kids can see the different projects, plus easy loading and unloading access and we're located in the central part of the state.

Jenna Covey is the Deputy Commissioner for Minnesota IT Services and a judge. She says she is looking forward to what ideas the kids come up with.

I'm really looking for innovation skills. Seeing how kids are solving problems and working together to solve those problems.

STEM programming continues to be a growing trend among schools and students. Covey says she hope this event inspires students to go into this growing field.

We are always looking for candidates who have these types of skills and really looking towards high schools and colleges to help us build that pipeline of talent.

If you’re interested in getting a team involved next year you can contact your local University of Minnesota Extension office.

More From AM 1240 WJON