Mark Perez built much of his Life-Size Mousetrap by hand with the aim of using it to teach kids about Newtonian physics in a fun way that they could actually experience with their own eyes.
“I believe that in these times of seemingly endless virtual and digital experiences, it is crucial for kids and adults alike to have a real life encounter with the scientific principles that govern our world,” Perez writes on his website.
The 50,000-lb., 16-piece Rube Goldberg machine set on a 6,500-square-foot game board was completed in 2005 and has since toured the United States, bringing its brand of wonder to festivals like Maker Faire as well as science centers and museums. The sculpture itself is kinetic, with parts that move just like in the original Mouse Trap board game, but the excitement doesn’t end there. Perez also organized a Vaudeville-style show to accompany it. The performance features “sexy” mice Can-Can dancers, clowns and an original score by Esmerelda Strange.
“The Life-Size Mousetrap can be described as a dream come true,” writes Perez. “I believe that most people endeavor to shape their immediate environment, and this motivation is never more pure than when one is a child. As a kid I learned to play board games like “Mouse Trap” and finally could exercise control over my own destiny, no help from the parents or older siblings my developing wit against the world.”
The Life-Size Mouse Trap has been self-funded for five years now but Perez is currently seeking grants to continue the program and hire more artists and teachers for his team. If you’re interested, please contact him at his website.