If you ever spent a rainy Sunday building a Rube Goldberg-type machine with your siblings, you know that the best materials are found around the house.
Perhaps you used a baseball, and a bathroom slipper, and a dog toy, to try and create a number of flowing steps, all with a big, satisfying, ball-in-the-cup finish.
You might have even used a Band-Aid, that common, bathroom-based bandage. But, if not, you'll get to witness how a Band-Aid works when employed inside a Rube Goldberg machine, should you call upon the Santa Monica Pier on Sunday, March 5.
What to do, where to go and what to see
That's the day of the 4th annual S.T.E.A.M Innovation Fair and Rube Goldberg Curious Contraption Contest, an oh-so-imaginative showdown that asks the competitors one thing: Use a Band-Aid "...in a minimum of 20 chain reactions."
We pause here to thoughtfully stroke our chin as we ponder how a Band-Aid might work in such a complicated contraption, so feel free to pause and stroke your own chin, too. A Band-Aid is an interesting addition to a chain-reaction set-up, one that will keep the pier crowd rapt.
But there are many other big-of-brain doings during the totally free, science-smart festival.
You might be able to take the controls of a beneath-the-waves ROV mini sub, or build a fort out of cardboard, or meet Curby, the recycling robot representing Santa Monica Public Works.
LEGO robots will even have a soccer showdown, with visitors at the controls.
JPL and NASA will be in the house, or on the pier, rather, so show with all of your science, technology, engineering, art, and math questions, fancies, and daydreams of the most futuristic, robot-awesome sort.
Have a S.T.E.A.M. fan in the house? Is your whole household full of S.T.E.A.M.ies? Do you all dream of flying cars and automated kitchens and Rube Goldberg machines where Band-Aids play an important role?
Turn your flying car for Santa Monica Pier for learning, laughs, and, oh yeah, LEGO robots.