By John McDevitt

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Drexel University students will attempt to set a Guinness World Record next month to kick off the 2014 Philadelphia Science Festival.

Forty-four Drexel students will attempt to break the record for the largest “Rube Goldberg“-style device.

Working in fourteen teams, using computer design software, each team of a few Drexel students will create a small portion of the overall physical machine.  After the sections are chained together, they hope, the machine will perform 400 movements to eventually perform one simple task.

Student Matthew Weiss (far right in photo) and his Team 10 are working on one section of the machine.

“So, the falling telescope hits an electrical switch, which turns on a railroad set to roll around a track,” he explains.  “And it then suddenly plummets down onto a  lever, which pushes up on a pulley system, which causes the other end to push down.  And that weigh then pushes down on a switch, and then that switch then turns on a fan.”

And so on.

The pecking of a trained chicken will initiate the sequence.

The current Guinness record for a similar silly machine is 300 steps, set by the Purdue Society of Professional Engineers.

The fourth annual Philadelphia Science Festival, sponsored by the Franklin Institute, takes place April 25th through May 3rd.  For more information go to

More From CBS Philly

Full Cosby Coverage
Latest Forecast

Watch & Listen LIVE