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Press Release

November 1, 2009


Josie Patterson
MIT Museum

Regina Norfolk
RNCommunications, LLC

MIT Museum Hosts 12th Annual
Friday After Thanksgiving (F.A.T.) Chain Reaction Event
on November 27th 

Renowned chain reaction creator, artist Arthur Ganson, plans surprise ending for this year’s event.

Cambridge, MA - October 27, 2009 - The MIT Museum will host its 12th annual Friday After Thanksgiving (F.A.T.) Chain Reaction Event on November 27th from 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. at the Rockwell Cage Gymnasium at 120 Vasser Street in Cambridge, MA.  The event will feature approximately 35 mini chain reactions linked together with the help of renowned artist and chain reaction creator, Arthur Ganson, to form one mega chain reaction which will be set off as the event’s fun-filled wacky culmination - along with a special surprise ending planned by Arthur Ganson himself.  Over 1,500 people who come from all over the country will watch and participate in this "only at MIT" event. 

Each team of participants, who in years past have included everyone from family teams and Girl Scout troops, to artists and engineers, creates one link in the chain reaction that they put together at the event.  From noon on, all the gears and building parts are tested by Arthur Ganson, with the help of MIT students, who then connect everything together for the grand finale.  Spectators may walk around and examine the contraptions, talk with the different teams and even engage is some spontaneous Rube-Goldberg activities, all while waiting for the main event.

"Making a chain reaction allows people to explore their own creativity, and see how their unique contraptions relate to a larger whole," said John Durant, MIT Museum Director.  "No matter how different the chain reactions, inevitably, with a little string and duct tape, they all work together beautifully.  It’s a unique event that could only happen at MIT!" said Durant.

"For the 1500+ people who watch the chain reaction, part of the joy of attending F.A.T. is seeing the creative energy that each team brings to their machine or contraption," said Jon Markowitz Bijur, event coordinator.  "As for the teams, making a link taps into a hunger to build and tinker that all children have and many adults strive to recapture from childhood.  The problems and solutions that arise in the design, construction, and endless fine-tuning of a chain reaction machine make the "work" more satisfying than any video game," said Markowitz Bijur.  "And usually there's a bunny that walks across a table and steps on a lever which releases a ball which...well, you get the picture!!!"

Participants must register to build their mini-link in the chain reaction no later than November 21st.  The registration fee is $10 per team of 4 participants and $5 for each additional team member.  For more information on registration and contraption guidelines go to http://mit.edu/museum/programs/fat.html.  Admission for spectators is $10 for adults and $5 for children under 18, students and seniors.  Children under 5 years old and students with an MIT ID are free.  Admission fee also includes a free same-day admission to the MIT Museum, which will remain open until 6:00 p.m.

The MIT Museum is open 7 days a week from 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.  Admission - Adults: $7.50; Under 18, Students, Seniors: $3.00; MIT ID and children 5 and under: Free.  The Museum also offers free admission on Sundays between 10:00 a.m. - noon and on the second Friday of each month from 5:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

The MIT Museum’s mission is to engage the wider community with MIT’s science, technology and other areas of scholarship in ways that will best serve the nation and the world in the 21st century. 

Related websites include:

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