In honor of the film Powers of Ten by Ray and Charles Eames, the Exploratorium hosted a museum-wide celebration on October 10, 2010, since the date was… 10/10/10!
In the Tinkering Studio, we hosted a Tops making activity, while screening another of our favorite movies made by the Eames, showing dozens of different tops from all over the world. We also celebrated Powers of Ten by screening a homemade and professionally shot short movies that explore size and scale in a playful way. All movies were between 10 and 100 seconds long, and were screened in the Tinkering Studio niche, converted to miniature movie theater for the occasion. Of course, we also made our own homage.
As inspirational images of tops played on a big screen, museum visitors explored with rotation, gravity, balance, weight distribution, and aesthetics while making their own spinning, precessing, and wobbly tops out of simple materials. In collaboration with the Institute for Inquiry, we also brought a wide variety of tops that we have been collecting for years, in order to spark creativity and to be used as examples to solve specific problems.
Take a look at the slideshow for some images from the event.