Rube Goldberg exhibit at the Children’s Museum brings laughter and learning

All photos courtesy of the Children’s Museum via KDKA.


Kids and families are now enjoying the new exhibit at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, called “Rube Goldberg: The World of Hilarious Invention.”

In fact, whole families are having fun figuring how Goldberg’s crazy contraptions work by creating their own chain reactions.

Among the hands-on exhibits is one where kids and their grownups can pull ropes to start a series of musical chain reactions in a large sound animation music machine. The exhibit was designed in partnership with Rube Goldberg’s family and also showcases his humorous cartoons that led to the physical inventions.

Photo from Rube Goldberg exhibit courtesy of the Children’s Museum.

It was created in Pittsburgh and premiered here six years ago. It’s been traveling the world since then, and now it’s back again for Pittsburgh families to enjoy.

“The most important thing to remember about a Rube Goldberg machine is it can be silly, made out of homemade objects, and it’s supposed to be funny,” says Anne Fullenkamp, senior director of creative experiences for Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh. “You want to create the most complicated, silly, funny way to do something simple.”

Parents are enjoying it — and enjoying watching their kids discover what’s possible.

“It’s just a bunch of little inventions you can mess with and make your own,” says parent Tommy Bohanan of Monroeville, who has kids ages 3, 4 and 10. “You can explore to see how things work. It’s something fun to do.”

Parent Kait Gerlowski of Ben Avon agrees: “It’s very hands-on,” she says, “and it’s been cool for kids to learn how things work and how one thing affects the next.”

The “Rube Goldberg: The World of Hilarious Invention” exhibit is open now through May 5 at the Children’s Museum.

rube goldberg at children's museum