"Tinkering" and "making" have taken their places next to science exploration and inquiry as the basis for highly engaging design-based activities in science centers. Engineering Studio—where visitors learn by designing and building solutions to design challenges in real time, using real tools—is helping to usher in this next generation of learning environments at the Science Museum of Minnesota.

At each Engineering Studio component, visitors respond to an engineering design challenge that is interesting and inviting to a broad museum audience. Visitors make discoveries and work with physics and material constraints as they design, build, test,and revise a solution to the design challenge. And Engineering Studio supports problem solving in a social environment, where good ideas are discussed and shared. 

This project is supported in part by a contribution from 3M.

BACK TO PROJECT HISTORY

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Wind Turbine Bench
Wind Turbine Bench
At the Wind Turbine Bench, visitors consider blade number, shape, and pitch and use a variety of electrical instruments and gauges in their search for a blade arrangement that generates power efficiently.

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Pneumatic Ball Run
Pneumatic Ball Run
The Pneumatic Ball Run challenges visitors to devise a system that will move a ball horizontally from a set starting point to a set finish. The task can't be accomplished without using pneumatic technology.

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Motion Sculptures
Motion Sculptures
A suite of programming kits complement Engineering Studio exhibits. Here a visitor creates and programs a whimsical robot with the Motion Sculptures kit.

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Hydraulics Bench
Hydraulics Bench
Engineering Studio includes “resources” components. These are hands-on demonstrations of physics concepts that come into play as visitors respond to design challenges, such as at the Hydraulics Bench, an introductions to simple hydraulic circuits.

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Wind Tubes
Wind Tubes
At the Wind Tubes Make Table, visitors are challenged to make and test a "wind rider" that will travel up and out a tall wind tube and land upright as it comes back to ground.

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Wind Tubes
Wind Tubes
At the Wind Tubes Make Table visitors are challenged to make and test a "wind rider" that will travel up and out a tall wind tube and land upright as it comes back to ground.
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