Skip to main content

Kinetic sculpture racing at its finest

I was bummed this morning to realize that I missed Baltimore's self-proclaimed "Almost Famous Annual East Coast National Championship Kinetic Sculpture Race."

For those of you unaware of this almost famous race, competitors must build a human-powered sculpture that can travel by road, water, and mud. The sculpture must be no more than 8 feet wide, 13 feet high and 35 feet long...otherwise anything goes. After looking at these pictures I am so kicking myself for missing the show.

What an engaging display of engineering, art, and creativity! It reminds me of the early days of electricity when Franklin and his contemporaries used their newly discoverey knowledge to perform parlor tricks such as electrifying glasses of wine.

Why? I guess because in both cases "increasing science literacy" wasn't a motive behind the event. I believe that when you explore nature you'll always find science, art, and creativity. And what better way to explore nature than to build a human-powered sculpture that can travel on road, water, and mud??

The race is hosted annually by the American Visionary Art Museum. What's visionary art you ask? According to the museum's mission:

Visionary art as defined for the purposes of the American Visionary Art Museum refers to art produced by self-taught individuals, usually without formal training, whose works arise from an innate personal vision that revels foremost in the creative act itself.

Not from the Baltimore area? Check out a kinetic sculpture race near you! (Visit this page and scroll down to the yellow banner for a listing)



Comments

Popular Posts

How 4,000 Physicists Gave a Vegas Casino its Worst Week Ever

What happens when several thousand distinguished physicists, researchers, and students descend on the nation’s gambling capital for a conference? The answer is "a bad week for the casino"—but you'd never guess why.

Ask a Physicist: Phone Flash Sharpie Shock!

Lexie and Xavier, from Orlando, FL want to know:
"What's going on in this video? Our science teacher claims that the pain comes from a small electrical shock, but we believe that this is due to the absorption of light. Please help us resolve this dispute!"

The Science of Ice Cream: Part One

Even though it's been a warm couple of months already, it's officially summer. A delicious, science-filled way to beat the heat? Making homemade ice cream.

(We've since updated this article to include the science behind vegan ice cream. To learn more about ice cream science, check out The Science of Ice Cream, Redux)

Over at Physics@Home there's an easy recipe for homemade ice cream. But what kind of milk should you use to make ice cream? And do you really need to chill the ice cream base before making it? Why do ice cream recipes always call for salt on ice?