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Outreach Van

About The Van

The Science on Tour Outreach Van made its first trip on the road on Monday February 5th, 2007.  The van illustration was created by illustrator Jim Paillot exclusively for the California Science Center and is based on the machines first created by artist Rube Goldberg. Keep on the lookout for the van! If you see it, you'll know it's on its way to entertain and educate a local school.

About the Artist

Jim Paillot - Dad, husband and illustrator, Jim likes to keep busy making "to-do" lists. He lives in Arizona and loves dogs, robots, cowboy music, cartoons and Jeeps. Jim's been an illustrator for more than 15 years and has worked with lots of fun clients including Nickelodeon, Disney, Milton Bradley, Cranium, Coca Cola and Port Discovery - The Children's Museum in Baltimore. His artwork has appeared in books, magazines, television, game boards and now a van! Learn more about the artist by visiting his website.

How to Start a Car in Fifteen Easy Steps!

Science Theater on Tour Van
Click the van to open a larger image and follow along!

Instructions: Match each letter in this legend to the corresponding letters on the panel to learn how the different parts of this Rube frogGoldberg inspired machine work together.
A. Driver sits on spring board
B. Board catapults the rocket
C. Rocket hits a bowling ball
D. Bowling ball rolls down and falls into a scale
E. Frog is catapulted up in the air which frightens the lady
F. Arms, waving frantically, pull rope
G. A-12 Blackbird blasts off
H. Garibaldi leaps from kelp bed in attempt to eat Chuck Yeager-like worm
I. Water splashes into cup, causing the scale to move, raising hatched chickfish
J. Chick tickles Tess’ arm with feather
K. Tess reacts to tickling and pulls up on rope
L. Cowboy boot punt-kicks Apollo capsule into space
M. Apollo capsule floats back down on parachute
N. Capsule lands on lever
O. Lever activates car, and off we go!

The Van is based on machines created in the 1950’s by artist Rube Goldberg.  In his cartoons Rube enjoyed creating machines with a very complicated series of interactions, that all needed to work together to accomplish something very simple.  His wonderfully wacky work is fun and scientific because it helps us to learn about the way different things could interact when put together.

Learn more about these machines and the man who first created them:
These resources will take you outside of the California Science Center website

Rube Goldberg Machine
Wikipedia's encyclopedia entry.

The Official Rube Goldberg Page
Futher explanations of Rube Goldberg machines.

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