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10:00am to 6:00pm

Tinkering Studio

Discover Your Inner Inventor

The Tinkering Studio - This automaton does what I want it to!
This automaton does what I want it to!
The Tinkering Studio - I built this automaton myself
I built this automaton myself
The Tinkering Studio - LEDs, batteries + fuzzy parts = digital bling
LEDs, batteries + fuzzy parts = digital bling
The Tinkering Studio - Learning how to build a simple structure
Learning how to build a simple structure
The Tinkering Studio - Automatons creating art
Automatons creating art
The Tinkering Studio - Course all laid out
Course all laid out
The Tinkering Studio - Ready to roll!
Ready to roll!
The Tinkering Studio - Tinkering with tops
Tinkering with tops
The Tinkering Studio - Tinkering with circuits
Tinkering with circuits
The Tinkering Studio - Tinkering supplies for your creations
Tinkering supplies for your creations
The Tinkering Studio - Let your imagination soar in our wind tubes!
Let your imagination soar in our wind tubes!
The Tinkering Studio - A collection of tops
A collection of tops

Join us in the Tinkering Studio to channel your inner Leonardo da Vinci or Thomas Edison and explore a full spectrum of STEAM activities: Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics. Guests of all ages are invited to work collaboratively on daily projects and challenges that are designed to help you innovate, think critically and expand the limits of what can be created. 

Explore re-use and sustainability through material challenges with cardboard, plastic, playing cards and more. 

Create bridges, marble tracks and simple machines using recycled materials and studio supplies.

Design paper sculptures inspired by origami, kirigami, geometry, topology and abstract art. 

What will you invent today?

Come Innovate With Us

Tinker Without Borders 

April 22, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. 
In the Fleet Theater Lobby. 
Come 'Tinker Without Borders' with us on April 22 and celebrate the National Math Festival in the Theater Lobby. Get hand's on with mathematics interactives and learn about the ways math impacts your life every day.
The National Math Festival will bring together some of the most fascinating mathematicians of our time to inspire and challenge participants to see math in new and exciting ways. Through hand-on activities, performances, games and more, the National Math Festival celebrates the role math plays in our lives. Organized by the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI) in cooperation with the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) and the National Museum of Mathematics (MoMath).

Activities free with paid gallery admission.




Make Your Own Cardboard Automata

A completed automata.

By The Tinkering Studio

Building automata is one of our favorite activities at the Tinkering Studio. It is a great way to explore how cams and levers work as well as how to incorporate movement into your art.  Automaton tells a story through its motion.

Simple automata are easy to make. We like to use cardboard boxes as a frame, but you can also use other materials such as wood or plastic cups. There are many types of automata. Look on the web for many inspirational works by automata artists who create these amazing moving machines.

For more details and step by step instructions, check out our blog


Monday: Closed

Tuesday–Friday: 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.*

Saturday: 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.*

Sunday: 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.*

*Hours subject to change. Please inquire upon your arrival.

Have questions? Contact us!

Tinkering Studio Workshops:

Tinkerers’ Club: 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Introduction to 3D printing and CAD drawing Workshop


Maker Hour

The Tinkering Studio was made possible by a major gift in honor of Grace and Jeffrey, and generous grants from the Kenneth T. and Eileen L. Norris Foundation and the Mandell Weiss Charitable Trust.