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Press Release

October 26, 2011

MIT Museum Hosts 14th Annual Friday After Thanksgiving (F.A.T.) Chain Reaction Event on November 25th
Celebrating 14 years, this yearís theme revolves around the 14 lines of a sonnet.
Online tickets available for first time.

child with leggos children with balloons man with machine

CAMBRIDGE, MA - October 26, 2011-- The MIT Museum will host its 14th annual Friday After Thanksgiving (F.A.T.) Chain Reaction Event on November 25th from 1:00 Ė 4:00 p.m. at the Rockwell Cage Gymnasium at 120 Vassar Street in Cambridge, MA. The event, which attracts people from all over the country, will feature approximately 35 teams who each create a unique and fanciful mini-chain reaction machine using a variety of materials. Each contraption is linked together with the help of artist and sculptor, Arthur Ganson, renown for his gallery of kinetic sculptures at the MIT Museum. Once all the teamsí contraptions are connected together, the mega-chain reaction is set off, culminating in a a special surprise ending planned by Arthur Ganson himself.

This year, in celebration of the 14th year, Ganson named sonnets, with their 14-line rhyming structure, as the theme for the event. Participants, who in years past have ranged from MIT students and engineers, to families and Girl Scout troops, are asked to either design and build contraptions that celebrate the 14-line sonnet, or write a sonnet to accompany their machine.

Throughout the afternoon, teams put the finishing touches on their contraptions, and with the help of MIT students, Arthur Ganson connects everything together for the grand finale set off at 3:30 p.m. In anticipation of the main event, spectators may walk around and examine the contraptions, talk with the different teams, and participate in hands-on activities. With poetry at the forefront, the dayís activities might include community poetry walls, and the writing, reading or singing of original sonnets.

"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. Itís a unique event that could only happen at MIT!" said Durant.

Participants must register to build their mini-link in the chain reaction no later than November 18th to be guaranteed a space. The fee for a pre-registered team of up to four members is $12 in advance or $15 at the door. Additional team members are $5 per person. For more information on registration and contraption guidelines please read this web page: http://mit.edu/museum/programs/fat.html. Also, for the first time, general admission tickets are available online and for a discount until November 23 at Noon.

Regular admission at the door for spectators is $15 for adults and $5 for children ages 5-18, students (with ID), seniors, and MIT ID-holders. Children under 5 years old are free. Admission fee also includes a free same-day admission to the MIT Museum and store, which will remain open until 6:00 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:
Online tickets for F.A.T.
General Event Information and Videos
MIT Museum

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Josie Patterson
MIT Museum

Regina Norfolk
RNCommunications, LLC

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