Massachusetts Institute of Technology / MIT Museum
Building N51 265 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02139
Open Daily 10am – 5pm / Closed Major Holidays
The MIT Museum is open today, Sunday, April 21. Cambridge Science Festival events will proceed as listed here.
Whether it's the reaction induced between one creative contraption and another equally crafty contrivance, or the joyful reactions sparked on the faces of the spectators, the MIT Museum's Friday After Thanksgiving (F.A.T.) Chain Reaction is a one-of-a-kind, must-be-seen-to-be-believed engineering feat.
Artist/inventor Arthur Ganson masterminds the choreography of this Rube Goldberg machine, assisted by MIT teams and participants who range from Girl Scout troops to artists and engineers. Spectators talk to the teams, engage in hands-on activities, and fill the seats waiting for the magic moment when all the machines are linked up to set off a chain reaction with a surprise ending.
This is a great family event where "kids" of all ages enjoy watching, playing and making things at F.A.T. In years past, more than 1,500 people attended this unique event!
Your chain reaction could be as simple as books falling against one another or as complicated as a Rube Goldberg invention. Look at the Game MOUSETRAP, the Japanese TV show Pythagoras Switch, or IDEO's Incredible Global Rube Goldberg Chain Reaction Experience. See also the music video This Too Shall Pass by OK Go.
New for 2013:
Come to the MIT Museum on Monday, February 18, from 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m., to explore reaction ideas and inspiration for a link of your own. And, on Thursday, April 18, from 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m., join Arthur Ganson at the Museum for an introduction to Rube-Goldberg oriented physics and opportunities to experiment, discuss, and prepare your link for F.A.T. 2013. Then, on Friday, October 11 from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., refine your contraption at the Museum's Second Fridays program about the Friday After Thanksgiving Chain Reaction.
It's the Chain Reaction's 16th anniversary! We encourage this year's F.A.T. builders to create machines that employ the anniversary theme of "sweet sixteen", so get ready to channel your inner Willy Wonka.
Team registration for F.A.T. 2013 will open in September.
Bring your chain reaction to the event site at 11:30 a.m. and we'll connect your device to others to make one grand chain reaction. MIT engineers and Arthur Ganson will be on hand to help. Participants will set up their links between 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m., then introduce their teams to the audience, demonstrate their links and tinker from 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. We will set off the grand chain reaction at 3:30 p.m.
Parking is available in the West Garage on Vassar Street across from Rockwell Cage Gymnasium, or on the surrounding streets (metered rates apply). Food is not allowed in the Rockwell Cage gymnasium; however, Central and Kendall Squares offer numerous dining options before and after the event. All MIT facilities are wheelchair accessible.
The Council for the Arts at MIT provides principal funding for F.A.T.