Related Blog Posts


Benji’s War Reenactment

Light Play
Meet Benji. He's a 12 year old history buff, with a particular affection for wars. Mostly American Revolution, but also other stuff, Civil War and the like. He's been into it for a long time, in fact it turns out that Deanna was his counselor when he was six, and remembers him asking her for a face painting about the war of 1812.


Tinkering at the LEGO Foundation’s Partner’s Meeting

Last month the Tinkering Studio team traveled to Billund, Denmark to participate in the LEGO Foundation’s Partners Meeting. Over two days educators, funders, and leaders from all over the world came together to discuss Learning through Play, which is the focus of LEGO Foundation’s work.


Recent Computational Tinkering Experiments

Earlier this month, Nicole and I traveled to the MIT Media Lab for the 2016 Scratch conference. At the event, we led a workshop on scratchpaper and shared some of our recent experiments around computational tinkering.


Physical Programming & Sensor Garden Prototyping

Our recent experiments with ScratchX, Seeed Sensors, and programming have produced some really interesting prototypes that I think can shed some light on the process that our group goes through when working out new tinkering activities. We've all been sharing ideas with each other and it's been really interesting to see how initial investigations build on one another and lead to new pathways.


Light Play at FabLearn

Last weekend, Sebastian, Lianna and I led a light play workshop at FabLearn, an annual conference for educators, students, designers, and researchers involved with "digital fabrication in education, the 'makers' culture, and hands-on learning" taking place at Stanford.



EU Workshop - Chain Reaction

I wanted to share one more post about the EU workshop that we led in Milan a few weeks ago. Many times for introductory tinkering workshops our culminating activity is collaborating on a giant chain reaction. Sometimes with this activity we choose a theme that we hope will inspire participants to think about the process of building in interesting ways.


New Explainer Trainings

This past week, we hosted two workshops for new explainers this will soon be facilitating activities with us in the tinkering studio. The high school explainers built cardboard automata which is the current activity in our workshop on the weekends. The field trip explainers worked together to create a large scale chain reaction, something that we hope to start prototyping on the floor in the next month or so.


Homemade Light Box

Last week we hosted a group of educators for three days of activities and discussions in another great "Intro to Tinkering" workshop.


The Pixel Table Game

20140226-pixel_table_017 Today I discovered a new way to play with the mirrored pixel table. I brought over different objects from the light play area, placed them on the RGB light source and checked out some amazing patterns.


Light Play Drip Chamber

One of the coolest things about having light play in the tinkering studio is how we can make connections to the myriad other exhibits on the museum floor that investigate light and shadows. A red, a green and a blue light turns the screen into a makeshift colored shadows, multiple white lights can create a mini professor pulfrich's universe, and lights reflecting off some spinning mylar sheets and colored filters can become an homage to sun painting.


Light Play in the Tinkering Studio

Lately in the tinkering studio we have been working to adapt one of our favorite PD workshop activities, Light Play, into a drop-in program in the Tinkering Studio. Light play allows participants to experiment with lights, shadows, patterns, color mixing, filters and other aspects of optics. In a dedicated workshop we have a couple luxuries that aren't possible in an everyday setting on the museum floor. Participants start by experimenting with individual elements like grids or motion, and then spend a long period of time (at least an hour) crafting their own kinetic light vignette.


Time Dissolves in Water

Guest Blogger, Diane Whitmore: Exploratorium Exhibit Developer-
Theme- Noticing

Here's another something I noticed recently.
I think it has a lot of scientific content and interactive potential, but I don't have an exhibit idea for it yet.

I discovered this optical event in the bath.
It led to a discussion of optics and refraction and more.
I think it looks cool.

Look for a lemon reflected in the underwater mirror of my watch.