experiments

sketchpad
26
Dec/16

LEGO Balance: Extra Materials and Iteration

Over the past few months, we've been prototyping a tinkering activity using LEGO pieces to construct balancing sculptures. We're currently putting the idea on hiatus for a while as we prepare for an upcoming LEGO event, but we thought that in lieu of posting a detailed instructable about how to do the activity, I'd write a couple blog posts to share our groups reflections so far and the questions and ideas we're excited to pursue when we return to this topic.

13
Dec/16

#LEGOTinkering Balance Continued

Since our #LEGOtinkering balance workshop at East Bay Maker Faire, we've been continuing to test out ideas and try new things around the phenomenon of balance using LEGO pieces with visitors to our Tinkering Studio workshop. I wanted to share a few of our more recent experiments as well as raise some questions that we still have about how to best support tinkering through this activity.

07
Jul/16

Ecsite 2016 Dissect, Hack and Reimagine Toys Workshop

As Sebastian and I were dreaming up the pop-up makerspace at Ecsite 2016, we talked about running a series of activities that built on each other over time but also provided low-threshold opportunities for participants to join in the workshop along the way.

21
Mar/16

Peepshows with Tim Hunkin and Explainers

Longtime tinkering collaborator and artist-in-residence Tim Hunkin spent the past two weeks with us at the museum and as usual, his projects inspired more possibilities for tinkering. One of the ideas that shared was an exploration of peepshows made with shoe boxes, simple circuits, and other common materials. As you may know, Tim runs two arcades in the UK with delightful machines which use some of the same elements of this older form of entertainment including perspective, electronics, and story-telling.

01
Dec/14

Marble Machine Environment Update

Marble Machines is one of our tried and true tinkering studio activities, but we are constantly experimenting to figure out the best way to take this venerable workshop activity and make it run smoothly on the museum floor. We went through several iterations in the prototype space in the palace of fine arts and have lived with a version in our new home for a little more than a year.

10
Oct/14

Biomimicry and Mimosas with Juanita Schlaepfer

We've been interested in biohacking and biomimicry as possible ways to foster collaboration between us and the life sciences group here at the Explo and to expand the range of topics covered in tinkering studio. Over the summer, we collaborated with an artist-in-residence, Juanita Schlaepfer, who wanted to share some workshops that she has been experimenting with that coincidentally made use of one of the most popular residents of the exploratorium's east gallery.

17
Oct/12

Experimenting with Paper Speakers

One of the demos that the high school explainers are currently developing on the floor involves making homemade speakers out of a a small cup, copper wire and a magnet. Last week, Chas wanted to find out if we could make a speaker using the copper tape and paper that we have been experimenting with for Jie's paper circuit activity.

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