Walk In Programs

Eli Whitney Museum

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We are open on Saturdays & Sundays from 10 – 3. When you visit us on a weekend day, an apprentice will work with your child as they build a project and begin to experiment. Sessions last from 20 minutes to an hour. Projects change from weekend to weekend. A sampling of possible projects is available here.

Our Water Learning Lab is open on the weekends from May through October (as weather permits.) Please understand that in the summer, our available projects are much more limited because we are not producing others for school programs. We always have Pinball and Boats available however.

Measure Mobile

measure-mobile-2011

Assemble and decorate the wheels, axles, chassis and driver of a wooden downhill racer. Then experiment. Measure the distance it travels from the end of its track. Change the pitch of the track and measure again. Change the weight of the car and measure again. An intro to numbers as the voice of science.

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Balancing Circus

Homage to Calder

The Circus explores the art and science of balance, forces, center or gravity and performance. Conceived with a nod to artist /engineer Sandy Calder, each circus tests classic experiments at work.

Expands STC curriculum.

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Pinball Machine

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A popular project that teaches game design (beginnings, middles and ends), logic (rewards for difficulty), marble movement (caroms, momentum) and creative design (good games must still attract players.) A rare exploration of the work of play.

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Rubber Band Car

Rubber Band Car

Students construct cars powered by rubber bands and measure their performance after 20 minutes of practice. Lively insights into the mechanics, measurement and math of motion. Great for a followup program on creative elaboration. New design now employs wheels of diameter 1/π.

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Reversing Switch & Buggy

Reversing Switch Buggy

A battery's current flows in one direction. Clever arrangement of switches can reverse that direction. Construct a controller with a battery, motor and ultralight buggy which can go forward or backward. Learn wiring logic, precision, and trouble shooting.

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Robot Drum

Robot-Drum-2013

Construct a music machine. Hear the logic of Leonardo's mind at work as he invents the first modern robot, an automatic drummer whose rhythms can be reprogrammed flexibly and whose tempos adjust automatically. Invent your own cadences.

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Ecosystems:Magnetic Pendulum

Ecosystems Magnetic Pendulum

All creatures live in a web of resources that support or suppress their growth. Create a dynamic model of an insect’s or bird’s world. Suspend a magnetized creature on a pendulum. Add food and shelter (with magnets) that attract the creature and predators and hazards that repel it. The creature navigates a complex and fascinating path.

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Colonial Toys

Colonial Toys - Bo Peep and Jugglers

Immigrants brought to America traditions of crafting simple playthings out of common materials. These toys develop dexterity and inventiveness. Two toys from the catalog of clothespin classics. Connect to Colonial curriculum or the geography of play.

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X Wing Fighter

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The X-wing was a prominent series of multiple starfighters produced by Incom with a characteristic "X"-shape of four wings, known as S-foils, extending out from the fuselage. These star fighters were found in the service of the Rebel Alliance, New Republic, and also the Whitney Workshop.

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Battleship

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Build a battleship with turrets. Fly your flag.

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Drawing Machine 2019

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Build a remarkable drawing machine from 1913 adapted by Senior Apprentice Angus Macmullen and Educator Josh Revkin. Since their first adaptation, it's been revised three more times. We will teach you some ways to program it. Then you will go on to invent your own programs. The possibilities are infinite. Add color and shadows.

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Dancing Robots

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Build a robot, add a motor and an eccentric wheel (or heart or star), a battery and wire it up. Your robot will dance and vibrate to any tune you call. Build a traditional robot, a Stormtrooper a Supergirl or maybe even Silver Surfer robot. You get to choose.

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Robot Drum Unicorn or Horse

Construct a robot. Hear the logic of Leonardo's mind at work as he invents the first modern robot, an automatic drum machine whose rhythms can be reprogrammed flexibly and whose tempos adjust automatically.

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Stomp Catapult

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Inspired by Wallace and Grommit's Sheep-a-pult, this catapult launches soft wool 'sheep' or 'cows' or anything you choose to launch into the castle tower that you build. Ready, set, launch!

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Designing Dragons Birthday

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Dragons are made of parts borrowed from birds, reptiles, mammals and imagination. Assemble your own: from the old Norse traditions that Hiccup so carefully described. Or from the now 15 year-old Pokemon traditions of Japan. Make your dragon match your favorite or look like a beast no one else has ever seen.

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Dexterity & Strategy Games

Alquerque, Fox and Geese, 9 Men's Morris

Dexterity Games: Rebound, Twister Fingers, Towers of Hanoi.
Strategy Games: Fox and Geese, Nine Men's Morris, Alquerque. Dexterity games and Strategy games are found in every culture and tradition. We've developed some new designs to add to our library of games – and to yours.

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Birthday project

Dancing Pirate

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A pirate, a parrot, a motor, an eccentric wheel and battery.

Arghhh! Dancing.

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Birthday project

New! Rolling Egg Animals or Cement Truck

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Build a Unicorn, Dragon, or Penguin with a hole in the middle. Why the hole? Watch the egg tumble in his tummy when he rolls along. Or a Cement Truck!

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2020 Drawing Machine

2020 Drawing Machine thumbnail

Build a remarkable drawing machine from 1913 adapted by Senior Apprentice Angus Macmullen and Educator Josh Revkin. Since their first adaptation, it's been revised at least 5 more times. We will teach you some ways to program it. Then you will go on to invent your own programs. The possibilities are infinite. Add color and shadows.

Learn More...

2021 Ecosystems:Magnetic Pendulum

Ecosystems Magnetic Pendulum 2021

2021 New Design

All creatures live in a web of resources that support or suppress their growth. Create a dynamic model of an insect’s or bird’s world. Suspend a magnetized creature on a pendulum. Add food and shelter (with magnets) that attract the creature and predators and hazards that repel it. The creature navigates a complex and fascinating path.

Learn More...

2020 Pinball Machine

2020 Pinball Machine  thumbnail

A popular project that teaches game design (beginnings, middles and ends), logic (rewards for difficulty), marble movement (caroms, momentum) and creative design (good games must still attract players.) A rare exploration of the work of play.

Learn More...

2020 Robot Drum

Robot-Drum-2013

Construct a music machine. Hear the logic of Leonardo's mind at work as he invents the first modern robot, an automatic drummer whose rhythms can be reprogrammed flexibly and whose tempos adjust automatically. Invent your own cadences.

Learn More...

2020 Balancing Circus

Homage to Calder

The Circus explores the art and science of balance, forces, center of gravity and performance. Conceived with a nod to artist /engineer Sandy Calder, each circus tests classic experiments at work.

Expands STC curriculum.

Learn More...

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