The Exploratorium & The Tinkering MOOC
The Exploratorium is an amazing hands-on science museum in San Francisco. They created a makerspace for their patrons called The Tinkering Studio. I participated in their Tinkering MOOC this past summer and it was a fantastic experience. They published their book, The Art of Tinkering, back in early 2014. I read most of this book when I first got started with my makerspace and then later finished it all the way through during the MOOC. It had quite an impact on me, but for some reason I never got around to writing up a proper book review. So here you go 🙂
The Art of Tinkering
The Art of Tinkering looks at over 150 different artists and makers and how they weave science and technology into their work. It’s beautifully designed and inspiring. It clearly demonstrates the important part that art, whimsy and creativity play in making. Each chapter focuses on a different technique, from aerial photography to cardboard automata to wearable circuits to toy take apart. The chapters each feature an artist or professional who uses that technique in their work, with an intimate look into their design processes, studios and tools. The chapters then follow up with step-by-step instructions for a DIY activity, which are often excellent for maker stations. I’m eager to try out the DIY wind tunnel and the marble run with my students.
Inspiring ALL the Makers
What I love most about this book is that it can inspire ALL makers, from those who have more of an electronic focus to painters to fiber artists and everything in between. As an educator, I love looking though this book to get ideas of ways that I can inspire my students to be more creative and think outside the box. As a maker, I love looking for ideas for new projects or things I might like to create.What I love most about The Art of Tinkering is that it can inspire ALL makers Click To Tweet
I think it’s a fantastic book to have for your students as well. The beautiful images throughout can help your students to see that there is more to making than just “messing around” at school. Many of the example projects are from professional artists who have works displayed in museums. These amazing, thoughtful creations can be hugely inspiring to students. And most of the tutorials are very doable, making it possible for students to experiment with new techniques on their own or with a teacher or parent.
If you don’t have a copy of The Art of Tinkering yet, go order one right now for you library (and maybe one for yourself too). It’s an incredible, beautiful designed book that is sure to inspire the hearts of many makers.
Have you read The Art of Tinkering? What was your favorite project in the book?