Maneki-Neko Dissection

Last week, several of us on the Tinkering Studio team had the privilege of traveling to Singapore for a workshop with the staff of the science center there. We'll be posting a full recap of the activities and discussions soon, but as a preview, I wanted to share a really cool discovery from the trip.



Automata (and then some...)

You may have noticed the radio silence on our end, as witnessed by a serious lack of blog posts. This was because our website was hacked, not that we didn't have lots of things to share with you.  We're happy to be back in business now and I'll kick things off with what should end up being a barrage of blog posts from the team, showing you what we’ve been up to for the last month or so.


Field Trip to Bernie's Exhibition


This weekend was the end of a solo show by frequent tinkering studio artist-in-residence Bernie Lubell, so on Friday, a group of us took a field trip to the Intersection for the Arts to check it out.


Moving Toys Workshop - Sally's Bunny

Last week at Noga's moving toys workshop, some of the museum staff and explainer crew spent time at the table making moving toys, working to figure out mechanisms and adding personal touches. Sally, one of the high school explainers, made one of the most awesome (and terrifying) toys during the workshop. She started on Thursday and decided to use the straw curing method to animate the ears on a bunny's face.


Amazing Marble Catapult

In many of our favorite activities, visitors to the Tinkering Studio often use materials in entirely new and surprising ways. For example, even though we've been doing Marble Machines for years and years, every once in a while someone will develop a elegant and revolutionary solution to a common problem.



Testing the Spot Welder

In the latest of the series of videos documenting Antonio's projects (see the phonograph and the vacuum former for the first two films in the trilogy), the learning studio crew tests out a homemade spot welder.


Photocopier Dissection

Paul D. shared this hunkinesque youtube video of Bill Hammack a.k.a. "the engineer guy" taking apart a copy machine and explaining how it works.


An Epic Marble Run

Here's a video of two high school dudes who spent most of their field trip in the museum building an epic contraption on the marble wall. They worked together to solve problems and create new challenges for themselves for over three hours. The unfinished masterpiece ended up using four sections of wall, had some major jumps, and used many different materials.


A Couple of Marble Contraptions

Thought I'd post two videos of some of the latest prototypes for additions to the marble machine wall. Both of these seem to address some of the challenges that explainers and visitors have identified such as having one marble release another or having the marble travel up a ramp.

The first one was a modification that I made on the swinging hammer that Chad built. I taped a bottle cap on one end of the mallet and added clothespins on the other side to balance the weight. When the first marble knocks into the clothespin, the hammer swings and releases a second one.


The Amazing Clean Up Tube

This morning we had a training for the field trip explainers where we came up with challenges in the marble cave, like setting up the marble to bounce off three balloon trampolines, having the marble move as slow as possible and making one marble trigger another.


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