Automata & Reconsidering Materials

The wonderful world of automata is filled with humor and whimsy, but when it comes to making one yourself for the first time it can seem a little scary. Our advice is to 'go for it' ~ don't fret too much, take the leap and just try making one. You'll be able to really start tinkering once you get that first one out of the way.


Tinkering Fundamentals Google Hangouts

Today marks the release of our second Tinkering Fundamentals online course, hosted by Coursera. We are very excited to, once again, share our work with such a large and engaged audience, and we wanted to make a couple of announcements related to it.


Tinkering with MOOC's


Tinkering with MOOC's / Thursday, June 25th at 11PST



PD x 3 .......(3 Professional Development models for making & tinkering)

You're invited to join us this week  

Thursday - Feb 5th at 11PST for a Community of Practice Hangout


Scribbling Machines in the classroom

It's always nice to receive documentation of our work spreading outside the confines of the museum—in fact, it’s the reason why we make free guides for our activities! We just received this awesome video from a teacher who, after taking our Coursera class on Tinkering Fundamentals, used Scribbling Machines as a team building activity to kick off the school year! I particularly like the idea that “you have to train your Scribbling Machine”…


Circuit Boards and Circuit Boards

I've really enjoyed reading the Coursera forum activity sharing write ups and reflection question discussions over the past five weeks. I saw one person post a question about the circuit board that controlled the toy she took apart, and although I don't have a direct answer as to how the board works, I wanted to share a way we've explored a similar problem in the past.


Familiar Materials for Unusual Circuits

Over the past couple weeks, it has been great to check out the rebelmouse page for inspirations and innovations from participants in our coursera course as they build scribbling machines, sewn circuits and other electricity-minded projects.


toy taxidermy

One way to construct knowledge is by deconstructing something to see how it works, and one of our favorite things to take apart in the Tinkering Studio is mechanical toys. There are some really interesting mechanisms inside, and it's a great way to play around with and learn about circuits. One thing that has always bugged me, though, is what to do with the toy after you've taken it apart. After all, that's where it really starts to get interesting.


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