Feb Fest

February 20–25, 2017

Join us for Feb Fest, our annual celebration of National Engineers Week, during February school vacation, with daily hands-on activities, workshops, and more.  This year's theme is Assembly Required.

For a quick view of daily activities with times, visit the Museum calendar.

Our very popular workshops will be held Tuesday - Friday. Pre-registration is required and will open on January 16. Please note that students may attend a maximum of two workshop days.

Kicking off the week on Monday, drop-in and create a unique chain reaction contraption at How to Build a Better Mouse Trap. Visitors will work in teams to design and build a contraption with the aim of trapping a toy mouse in a very elaborate way.

Then, Tuesday - Friday, don’t miss our daily showcases led by MIT students and researchers, hands-on engineering projects in the Idea Hub or one of our guided tours of our favorite galleries with Museum curators and staff.

FebFest is generously supported by the Marvin C. (1951) & Joanne Grossman Fund.

Workshop Information

Age: Dates:Tuesday, February 21 - Friday, February 24, 9:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Age: Middle school students (6-8th grade). Workshops are for individual students and not groups. Students are limited to two workshop days. 

Required: Please submit a liability form for each participant. 

Registration: Opens January 16, 10 a.m., closes February 14, 10 a.m. 



Tuesday, February 21

Physical and Virtual Chain Reactions (SOLD OUT)
Students will mix ramps, dominoes, and ping pong balls with a day of Scratch and LEGO WeDo to build physical and virtual chain reactions. Participants will have a chance to familiarize themselves with block computer programming and integrate sensors into their apparatuses as they combine the virtual and physical worlds.

Wednesday, February 22
Illuminated Stories with Paper Circuits (SOLD OUT)
Participants will combine their unique creativity with electrical engineering in this project-based story telling workshop. Students will learn how circuits work and get a chance to light up their own creative illustrations on paper and in a three-dimensional diorama.

Thursday, February 23 (SOLD OUT)
Second Time Around: Building with Recycled Materials 
In this day-long workshop students will learn about architecture and design challenges as they use recycled materials to build solutions to problems. Participants will be asked to think about the importance of materials and shapes as they design their creations.  

Friday, February 24 (SOLD OUT)
Make to Move 
Participants will use inspiration from Arthur Ganson's famous kinetic sculptures as they build their own moving creations over the course of the day. This workshop also includes a trip to MIT LIST Visual Arts Center

Showcases (10 a.m. - 12 p.m.)

Tuesday: Complete the Circuit  Explore the world of electronics.

Wednesday: Medical Making  Learn how to harness the power of biology and microfluidics on this day of biological and medical making.

Thursday: Materials Included  Think beyond cardboard and wood.

Friday: All Systems Go  Build it bigger, better, and faster in this motion driven showcase.

Saturday: FAB Fest (1 – 4 p.m.) Join us for this culminating event with makers and builders from the greater Boston area.

See list of contributors below.

Idea Hub Activities

Please note that due to the high level of interest, visitors will be admitted into the Idea Hub for 20-minute intervals.  The Idea Hub is open from 12:30 - 2:00 p.m.

Tuesday: Kinetic Sculptures
Wednesday: Kinetic Sculptures
Thursday: 3D Design and Printing
Friday: 3D Design and Printing
Saturday: Closed

Guided Tours

Tours are best suited for teens and adults and are limited to 25 participants; tickets available one half-hour before tour start on a first-come, first-served basis. Tours take place from 2:00 - 2:30 p.m.

Tuesday: Robotics with Debbie Douglas
Wednesday: Projects and Prototypes with Emma Westling
Thursday: Images of Discovery with Gary Van Zante
Friday: Gestural Engineering with John Durant


Thank you to our showcase contributors, including: 


Mark Chilenski, designer of DIY Geiger-Muller counter (as seen in our Projects & Prototypes exhibit)
Einstein’s Workshop
Winter Guerra, co-designer of prosthetic hand (as seen in our Projects & Prototypes exhibit)
Harvard Microrobotics

Little Devices
MIT Beaver Works
MIT Bio-Maker Workshop
MIT Glass Lab
MIT MakerWorks
MIT Rocket Team
NuVu Studio
Parsons School of Design
Jie Qi, Founder of Chibitronics
South End Fab Lab
STEM Pathways