If there’s one project the epitomizes the vaudevillian, Rube Goldberg spirit the Maker Faire – the DIY arts, engineering and technology festival, now going on its 8th year — it has to be the Life-size Mouse Trap.
Created by Mark Perez, the 16-piece, 25 ton replica of the classic board game took 15 years to build and now tours the country delivering a unique brand of engineering entertainment to kids of all ages. Combing Newtonian physics, performers and good old fashioned elbow grease, the life-size mouse trap utilizes all the six simple machines made from common materials to navigate eight pound bowling balls (in place of those plastic yellow balls) around a kinetically-driven course that takes two days to assemble.
As a contractor by day and a “fungineer” by night, Perez writes that he believes “in these times of seemingly endless virtual and digital experiences, it is crucial for kids and adults alike to have a real life encounter with the scientific principles that govern our world.”
An hour and half after the gates opened at this year’s Maker Faire in San Mateo, California, Perez and his band of merry-pranking mouseketeers reprized the mousetrap for the seventh time, turning the crank that knocked over the bucket that spilled the bowling ball that zig-zagged down the stairs…ah, you know the rest. Check out video of a past performance of the Life-size Mousetrap in action and stay tuned for more Discovery News posts from the 2013 Marker Faire.
Image credit: Karsten Lemm