Tinkering @ Science on the Rocks

Creating things and solving puzzles are some of my most favorite things to do in the world. There are often times when I get home and say to Roger (or myself), “I want to make something.” When I was a kid, I would build forts, conduct my own science experiments or use random odds an ends around the house to make something cool like a musical instrument or a toy from recycled objects.

The Reuben H. Fleet has a new exhibit (open until June 2009) called Tinkering. It is the dream exhibit for those like me. There is one area where you can build a marble roller coaster on a peg board using various piping and chutes. In another corner you can build any object that you can think of using any of the supplies that they have. The area is filled with scraps of wood, recycled materials, rubber bands, wires, small motors, batteries, as well as random arts and crafts supplies. Within this area there is also a small workbench with tools like screwdrivers, hammers, nails, saws and a hot glue gun.

This past week they had their first “Science on the Rocks” event, sort of modeled off of the “Culture and Cocktails” events at the San Diego Museum of Art but with a few differences. At “Science on the Rocks” you pay one price ($20) for admission and all you can eat/drink of fancy appetizers and drinks (which included Firehouse on tap, Carl Strauss in bottles, wine and vodka drinks). Compared to paying admission, then paying for each drink. The event went from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Actually we left at 9 p.m with at least half the people still standing around.

One activity that went on through the evening, which Roger and I totally got absorbed in, was the Rube Goldburg chain reactor. It is a device created piece by piece that has a sort of domino effect… think of “Goonies” when Data was opening the gate for Chunk, same sort of thing. It was awesome to work with others thinking creatively. The best part was that no one really shot down anyone else’s ideas. Anything was fair game. Plus with the event being all adults, you never felt that you were taking away any of the fun from the kids.

The next “Science on the Rocks” event will be in January. They haven’t been good about posting event info on the web, but I will let you know when I hear but feel free to email the Fleet yourself to get on their mailing list for future events like this at specialevents@rhfleet.org.

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