sketchpad

Stickbombing the Exhibit Hall

20
Oct/11

Last week, in the midst of getting ready for the tinkerer's ball and the ASTC booth, we saw the cobra weave stick bomb on boing boing and immediately did a quick test in the learning studio. It worked and we scrambled to pack a box of 500 craft sticks with our materials headed to Baltimore so we could attempt a massive stick bomb in the middle of the exhibit hall. Apparently there are some museum folks out there reading our blog, because from the time we arrived at ASTC, people kept asking us "when's the stick bomb going off?"

Exploratorium booth at ASTC 2011

So Sunday morning, Luigi and I got out the box of craft sticks and started wrapping and weaving them around the perimeter of the booth. As we were interlacing them, we found that it was tricky to turn corners, but we quickly learned a technique that helped with the curves. Mike implored us to do a small test section but we shrugged off the idea, wanting our hard work to pay off with one impressive giant chain reaction.

Exploratorium booth at ASTC 2011

Using all 500 craft sticks, the stick bomb made it almost the entire way around the booth and ended at the musical bench with a pyramid of dixie cups. A crowd gathered and we counted down from ten.

But it turned out the carpet got in our way! It was plusher than the one in our space, so little fibers got trapped in between the sticks, and held them back when the bomb was set off. As much as I hate to admit that Mike was right, we should have followed the advice to test early and often.

So even though the setting off of the bomb was a bit anti-climactic, it was fun to do, and we'll definitely make another one in the museum, this time on cold hard ground...

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