Thursday, November 28, 2013

Not a Princess Either!

I am not a princess either.  As much as I love spangles and pretty things, I like making things and stuff that is complicated too (duh, the Plimoth Jacket was both).  If you watched the Goldie Blox video I posted a few days ago, the Rube-Goldberg device that was made in the video is called "the princess machine".  Note that it is mostly made out of toys.

Well, I found it doubly fun to watch because we have a relatively new tradition around our house for Thanksgiving - we have added building a 2' x 8' Rube Goldberg machine while we cook the turkey and watch football.  MIT has a celebration of Mr. Goldberg's cartoons that was started and hosted by an incredibly creative and inventive kinetic sculpture artist named Arthur Gannon (also the inventor of  Toobers & Zots).  We have gone two years in a row now and our bright T-shirts plus use of only construction toys for our engineering has won us two years in the Boston Globe.  This year the announcement used us - three generations - as the  promotion photo.  Funny!

If you want to watch last year's piece - we are second to last at 13:40 in the video of the chain reaction. In 2011 our link starts at 15:45.   We already have big plans for our entry this year.  It involves CATAPULTS.  If I get good video, I'll post it.

Maybe there is a engineering college around you that could sponsor something like this for kids.  That is what I like most about this event - 1500 people come to watch and the participants are mostly kids and their parents doing whatever last minute thing they can dream up.  It doesn't have to work perfectly, just get kids to associate engineering = FUN.

Now an idea for an even better event.  One for kids that uses princess toys to make a Rube Goldberg device like that in the video.  A real princess machine.  Now that would be a great statement.  Maybe the last day of a girls-only summer camp?


P.S. I am posting this as we are finishing out our design.  We have substituted flashing electroluminescent wires for catapults and are trying to get a robot arm to work.  Hope you have had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I had a great one - I was up and cooking for about three hours early in the morning.  My mother called me over to the pantry to 'find something' to instead find that my brother (the web master/animator of stitches) was in it!!  I was shocked and burst out crying.  This was the first holiday in almost five years that we have all been together.  He flew in by secret late last night and the other brother who had come to Boston for the holiday had picked him up.  They let him in and he had been asleep in my workroom hiding!  That was a great holiday surprise!

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