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The Rube Goldberg Exhibit Is More Than Wacky Fun (Though There’s Lots of That Too!)

By Delana Haglund

This summer, kids are experimenting, taking risks, problem solving and more as they step into the role of illustrator, storyteller and inventor in the Rube GoldbergTM: The World of Hilarious Invention! exhibit.

In true Rube GoldbergTM style, kids are encouraged to take risks while activating chain-reaction contraptions and creating their own experiments in this fun new exhibit, which is sponsored by Comcast.

“Comcast is proud to partner with Minnesota Children’s Museum in bringing this one-of-a-kind exhibit to the Twin Cities, energizing the imagination and creativity of our young people,” said Ron Orlando, vice president of External Affairs for Comcast. “As the region’s leading technology provider, we’re all about creating opportunities for learning and exploring the world in new and unique ways, and we’re grateful for the work being done by Minnesota Children’s Museum.”

Building Skills

By exploring and interacting with complicated contraptions, kids develop important skills like critical and creative thinking, confidence, coordination, communication, collaboration and self-control. Here’s a deeper look at a few of these:

  • Critical Thinking – In activities like the Cleaning Machine and the Dinner Machine, kids are encouraged to think outside the box about household chores. Using a variety of objects like pulleys and boxing gloves to complete a relatively easy task, kids experiment, adapt and consider the relationship between cause and effect.
  • Creative Thinking – In the Art Studio, visitors find inspiration from Rube Goldberg through examples of his comics, drawings and inventions. Visitors can try out some of Rube’s techniques at a drafting table and create their own comic or machine.
  • Confidence – Visitors are encouraged to find the fun in failure while embracing success and humor by creating open-ended chain reactions at the Free Play Table. In this activity, visitors are challenged to experiment with everyday objects like dominoes, tires, and wheels to get from point A to point B in the wackiest way possible.

How Parents Can Support 

In this exhibit, you can support your little scientist and help them get the most out of it by:

  • Making observations. “I noticed…”
  • Asking Open Ended questions. “What do you think? What might happen if…” “What next?”
  • Posing Challenges. “What type of machine could you invent for cleaning your room?”

And remember, everything doesn’t always go according to plan during experiments. Encourage your child to view failure as an opportunity to learn and grow. Instead of giving up, try a different angle. That’s what experimentation is all about.

Open Through Sept. 8

Don’t miss this fun exhibit! It’s only here through Sept. 8, and then it will continue its journey around the country.

A huge thank you to Comcast for supporting this exhibit.

 

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Parent resources are funded in part with money from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund that was created with the vote of the people of Minnesota on November 4, 2008.

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