Making Machines in The Studio

What are simple machines? What can they do? How can they help us solve problems? Kids and families will explore the answers to these questions in “Making Machines”, the new experience in The Studio in the Target Gallery.

Surrounded by a steampunk visual theme, visitors will explore the six types of simple machines, discover how they function and build their own machines. They can choose from a variety of materials – including cardboard, springs, corks, pulleys, pipe cleaners – and use real tools such as hot glue guns, wire cutters and pliers to create any machine they dream up. This fun, hands-on experience challenges visitors to act like an engineer or architect – to imagine, improvise, reinvent and dare to innovate. It also encourages self-confidence, resourcefulness and creative and critical thinking.

Making Machines is supported The Donaldson Foundation.

What You’ll Find in the Gallery

  • Simple machine wall featuring large kraft paper roll for designing, simple machine models and posters
  • Quercetti gears on a grid wall that kids can turn, manipulate and investigate
  • Workspace, materials and tools to create and innovate simple machines
  • Curiosity cabinets with hidden steampunk gems to discover
  • Dreamers corner – a place to relax, reflect and process

Build with Robotic Blocks

Some days, we’ll bring out Cubelets, robotic blocks that use tactile coding to move, make noise, sense roadblocks and more.

Other New Summer Experiences

Making Machines in The Studio is just one of our new special summer experiences that focus on creative and critical thinking. Our super summer line up is presented by Chase and encourages visitors to Play BIG, Dream BIG and Think BIG. Other summer experiences include:

  • Rube Goldberg™: The World of Hilarious Invention! – In this new exhibit, visitors activate wacky chain-reaction contraptions that use everyday objects to complete simple tasks in the most over complicated, inefficient and hilarious ways possible. Open from May 25 to Sept. 8. Presented locally by Comcast.
  • Creativity Jam in the Target Gallery – In a reimagined Creativity Jam kids will make their own adventure journal, express themselves through artwork, collaborate on an art installation and harness the power of daydreaming. Opening Memorial Day weekend.
  • Engineering & Design Challenges on The Landing – Kids will test theories and solve problems as they tackle a variety of engineering and design challenges in this new experience on The Landing.
  • Thinks & Dreamers Showcases – Throughout the summer, we’ll celebrate creativity and innovation through special showcase events – June 22, July 13 and Aug. 3 – where visitors can meet young inventors and entrepreneurs, see performers and take part in other activities.
  • Celebrate Creativity Street Fest – Free outdoor street fest outside the museum on Saturday, July 13 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event will feature performers and activities and is free to anyone who wants to attend. This event is made possible by Chase.
  • Think Big Workshops – Visitors can choose from a number of hands-on workshops that empower them to explore concepts in STEM and flex their creativity and problem-solving skills. Dates and details to come.

Get ready to Play BIG this summer!

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10 West Seventh Street
St. Paul, MN 55102


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