January 28 – April 29, 2012
Enter the wonderfully puzzling world of Mindbender Mansion, an eclectic place full of brainteasers and interactive challenges guaranteed to test the brain power and problem solving skills of even the most experienced puzzlers. Adults and children alike will enjoy challenging their minds as they try to master each of the 40 individual brainteasers and the five group activities in this fun and unusual exhibit.
Visitors to this fun and quirky mansion are invited to join the Mindbender Society by gathering hidden clues and secret passwords scattered throughout the various thematic rooms of the house. The clues and passwords are revealed by solving select brainteasers and group challenges. Visitors are encouraged to think outside the box and collaborate with their fellow mansion guests to meet individual and group challenges, which include manipulating a tilt table, forming patterns in rolling chairs, keeping up with a conveyor belt, maneuvering a flying machine and disco hopscotch spelling.
Teachers! Download our Mindbender Mansion Educator Guide to help you plan your field trip.
Start at the Entry and watch a large screen which introduces the wacky Mr. E, master brainteaser, puzzle extraordinaire and current curator of the Mindbender Society. He will explain some key features of Mindbender Mansion and how to unlock the puzzle to become a member of the Mindbender Society. There are 40 individual brainteasers and five large-scale group activities, To become a member, visitors must solve a total of eight-to-eleven select brainsteasers and one large-scale group activity. Clue cards are available at the Entry to help keep track of clues and passwords from the puzzles that lead to membership in the Mindbender Society.
In the Parlor, there are 10 individual brainteasers – three of which provide clues toward the final challenge that determines eligibility into the Mindbender Society. Brainteasers found in the Parlor include: Make a Yellow Square; Tricky Triangles; Every Line Adds to 18; Six Pegs That Don’t Line Up; Make a Green Square; Move the Ring; 15 Sticks; String Houses; 10 pegs; Even Lines; and Four Equations.
In the Library, there are six individual brainteasers – three of which provide clues toward the final challenge that determines the eligibility into the Mindbender Society. Brainteasers found in the Library include: Make a T; Color Match; Every Line Adds to 15; Square or Triangle; Horse & Rider; and Take Away.
In the Kitchen, there are 4 individual brainteasers and 1 large-scale group activity – two of which provide clues toward the final challenge that determines eligibility into the Mindbender Society. Brainteasers found in the Kitchen include: Shifting Squares; Disorder; Balancing Nails; and Make a Cube. The group activity, called Feeding Frenzy, requires teamwork to fill a minimum of 10 T.V. dinner trays (with 5 kinds of food) on a moving conveyor belt within a specified amount of time.
In the Map Room, there are 4 individual brainteasers and 1 large-scale group activity – three of which provide clues toward the final challenge that determines eligibility into the Mindbender Society. Brainteasers found in the Map Room include: Six Blocks in a Box; 10 Pegs in Each Line; One Shape Fits All; and Build a Pyramid. The group activity, called Amazing Maze, requires visitors to work together to tilt a table in different directions, guiding a ball into six holes as quickly as possible in the allotted time.
The Disco Room contains 1 group activity called Spelling Fever. It is a large-scale, full-body activity that requires teamwork to successfully meet the challenge of correctly spelling answers to trivia questions within a limited amount of time by hopping on letter squares.
The Dining Room contains 1 group activity called Move and Match, a large-scale, full-body activity that requires teamwork to successfully meet the challenge of maneuvering dining room chairs into a correct pattern by pushing off of other players and the walls of the pen.
In the Rec Room there are 18 individual brainteasers and 1 large-scale group activity. Brainteasers found in the Rec Room include: Four Blocks in a Box; Triangle or Hexagon; Take-Apart Cross; Make a Blue Square; Five Room House; Tie the Knot; Linked Hearts; Make a Square; Six Sticks; A Perfect Fit; Horseshoes; Galloping Horse; Handcuffs; Crossing the River; 10 Disk Triangle; Two Balls in a Rocker; Tower of Brahma; and Jumping Pegs. The group activity, called Flying Machine, requires teamwork to successfully meet the challenge to move a mechanical “flying machine” around a game board hitting six targets in sequence within a specified amount of time.
Through each of the main four rooms (Parlor, Library, Kitchen and Map Room) visitors will encounter the Vaults – the Parlor Vault, the Library Vault, the Kitchen Vault and the Map Room Vault. Visitors must set the dials of each Vault to the clues that were revealed to them. If they are successful, a video will play featuring a short, zany animation introducing real-life inventors. At the end of the animation, Mr. E. will reveal a password that is needed to unlock the Wall of Fame Vault that determines eligibility into the Mindbender Society.
Wall of Fame
Visitors must enter at least three passwords they gathered from the four rooms of the mansion (Parlor, Library, Kitchen and Map Room) into the final vault at the Wall of Fame. If they are successful, they are officially an expert problem-solver and invited into the Society. If they are not successful, visitors are told to keep trying and check out the areas of the mansion that provide the clues and passwords.
Visitors invited to join the Mindbender Society, can have their picture taken and personalize their portrait with a background, outfit, funky hat, funny hair, etc. Once they finish their portrait, they can print out their official Mindbender Society certificate with their personalized portrait to take home. In addition, their portrait will go up on the Wall of Fame for all to see, in one of the four monitors available to highlight the newest members of the Mindbender Society!
Math, science, and technology educational content are woven into the puzzles, videos, and group challenges found inside Mindbender Mansion. At the heart of the exhibit is the essential scientific task of problem solving and critical thinking. The puzzles are an excellent tool for explaining mathematical and physical science concepts. In order to solve these puzzles, visitors must identify patterns, think ahead, use logical reasoning, and look at the problems from different perspectives, setting aside preconceived ideas. The videos in each of the four Clue Vaults explain neuroscience-based principles, and tell the story of several inventors who have used problem solving skills to come up with new solutions to old problems. Additionally, the popular group challenges require communication, collaboration, leadership, and teamwork skills – skills that are critical in solving the challenges facing today’s businesses and communities.
Mindbender Mansion is produced and toured by the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, Portland, Oregon.