Visitors 6 years old and up are welcome to join us in the Innovators LAB for open making at any time! With tools, materials and the technical expertise of our Teaching Artists, visitors can create anything they can imagine.
Open all day!
Thermo Fisher Workshops
Saturdays and Sundays
11:00am and 2:00pm
Innovators LAB is our Museum's very own makerspace
The Innovators LAB is a collaborative makerspace experiment where we work with local artists and experts from various fields to create a design challenge to nurture creativity, problem solving, skill building, and learning.
In June, we are pleased to welcome Thermo Fisher, who will be conducting projects inspired by art and science, including a Robotics Design Challenge and Strawberry DNA Extractions. Workshops will kick off Saturday June 3 and be held weekends through June 18, twice daily (11:00am and 2:00pm).
What sets the Innovators LAB apart from other makerspaces is the inclusion of resident professionals which include artists, architects, engineers, and others. These resident professionals develop design challenges alongside our Creative Team to provide open-ended, skill-building projects that explore real world issues. The Innovators LAB targets families with children ages 6-13 and provides opportunities to experiment with a variety of ideas, materials, and hands-on techniques.
Check out our past projects!
CAN YOU DESIGN A STRUCTURE USING GEOMETRIC PATTERNS AND COLOR?
This spring, we’re thinking about color and geometry in the Innovators LAB.
In the facilitated workshop, visitors aged 6 and up will create a mixed-media sculpture on a wooden board. Through this process, they will gain experience with a diverse range of tools, from digital cameras and printers to hammers and nails. In designing their sculptures, they will consider elements of shape, color, and dimension as they tell the stories of their art.
In the drop-in space, visitors of all ages will explore these same concepts in a structure created by local architect Miki Iwasaki. Here, they will manipulate colorful tiles and bright light to create geometric patterns and unusual shadows.
CAN YOU MAKE A BALANCING SCULPTURE?
January – March 2017
In this round of Innovators LAB, we work with local sculptor Scott Shoemate to explore the art of balance. In the workshop, older visitors use a spinning lathe to carve candles into unique spinning tops. Our younger visitors work with beautifully sculpted blocks of wood to build kinetic balancing sculptures. Toddlers play with balancing organic blocks on top of one another to create structures.
Through their explorations, visitors will gain an intuition for the concept of balance, increase their comfort in working with new tools and materials, and gain confidence in their ability to engineer their own art.
CAN YOU MAKE A HOLIDAY LED CARD?
November – December 2016
For this special edition of Innovators LAB, our internal creative team developed a variety of holiday programming. In our workshops, older visitors worked with copper tape, batteries, and LEDs to create light-up cards. They probed the basics of electricity in trying to connect their batteries to the small bulbs that lit up the front of their greeting cards. Our younger innovators worked with a variety of materials to design creative cards and holiday decorations for the home. They used pipe cleaners and straws to engineer 3D structures inspired by traditional Finnish ornaments, and practiced their fine motor skills in tying ribbons to make a forest of pine trees.
CAN YOU MAKE SOMETHING FLOAT?
September – October 2016
Fly Together was inspired by local artist Marisol Rendon’s experience with scuba diving. Her explorations of buoyancy led her to wonder: how can we create floating art? In Fly Together’s workshop, older visitors used heat sealers to make unique ‘mylar’ balloons. They formed and tested hypotheses and, through a process of trial and error, played with each balloon’s density to make it float at a specific height.
Our younger visitors formed their own understanding of buoyancy by creating paper parachutes, propellers, and myriad other flying contraptions and testing them in a wind tunnel. They, too, were practicing the scientific method as they refined their designs until they floated, spun, or soared as desired.