While you attempt to shake yourself out of that post-Thanksgiving, tryptophan-filled coma by running through the streets checking out Boston’s best Black Friday deals, over 1,500 people will be piling into MIT’s Rockwell Cage Museum for a “one-of-a-kind, must-be-seen-to-be-believed engineering feat.”
The annual Friday After Thanksgiving (F.A.T.) Chain Reaction is kicking off at 1 p.m., bringing together a wide range of participants, from MIT student teams and Girl Scout troops to artists and engineers. Each bring a link to contribute to one massive Rube Goldberg-style contraption, set off all by the simple tug of a string.
As artist and inventor Arthur Ganson, the mastermind behind the choreography, said in 2006:
The idea is very simple. You’re going to start from one point, and the energy is going to transform itself through the motion of objects. You can use an infinite number of materials in different ways to store the energy.
This year marks the Chain Reaction’s 15th anniversary—the year “of all things crystal.” The theme has thus been dubbed “crystal ball,” and participants are encouraged to “think about integrating predictions, reflections, crystals, sparkles and sport balls into [their] link.”
Participants can register individually or in teams of up to four members. Each link in the chain reaction should be no wider than two feet, no taller than four feet and no longer than six feet. Beyond small amounts of baking soda or vinegar, no chemicals should be used, as well as no plug-in electricity or more than a cup of water. For a full list of guidelines, click here.
At 11:30 a.m., devices are going to begin being connected, and throughout the afternoon teams will be tinkering and demonstrating their links. The grand chain reaction will be set off at 3:30 p.m.
Spectator admission is $15 for adults, and then $5 for youth, students with a valid ID and MIT ID-holders. The spectator fee includes free same-day admission to the MIT Museum.
For a taste of what you might see, you can watch chain reaction videos from the past six years, courtesy of MIT Video, below.
Photo Courtesy of Metousiosis