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Studio X


Make-It Workshop Kits 

We have packaged some of our favorite Make-It Workshops to go! Pick yours up today.  


Marble Run 


Learn what gravity, momentum, kinetic energy and potential energy have in common. Build and interactive Marble Run that is beautiful to look at and fun to experiment with.


















On the Blog

The Moment of Truth

By Jackie Valentine

Just a few weeks ago, the Fleet hosted our second Paper Airplane Day in the theater lobby. Participants mixed aerodynamics with origami techniques to construct a properly balanced plane. The planes had to be the right size and shape to generate enough lift to fly. No cuts or tape were allowed. Drawing on the templates of the current paper airplane distance world record holder, we explored sophisticated “nose locking” folds that helped keep the nose end components of the plane together during flight.

Read More


Make Your Own Cardboard Automata

A completed automata.

Building automata is one of our favorite activities at the Tinkering Studio. It is a great way to explore how cams and levers work as well as how to incorporate movement into your art.  Automaton tells a story through its motion.

Simple automata are easy to make. We like to use cardboard boxes as a frame, but you can also use other materials such as wood or plastic cups. There are many types of automata. Look on the web for many inspirational works by automata artists who create these amazing moving machines.

For more details and step by step instructions, check out our blog

Getting to Know You

 Meet some of the faces you'll see on the Gallery Floor: 


Akiko Hicks, Exhibits Experience Lead

1. If you could be any animal, what animal would you be and why?
Possum—because they have remarkable ability to find food, a super strong immune system and they do not have to be cute.

2. What’s your favorite medium to work in?
This is a hard question. I like paper in general, and fabric.  I worked with clay for many years, and recently I fell in love with cardboard.

3.  If you could live anywhere in the universe, real or fictional, where would you live?
San Diego!  

4.  Who’s your S.T.E.A.M. hero?
My Dad!  He is a chemist, engineer and artist.  

5.  Why do you like being an Innovator?
I love tinkering and the environment of our studio. It is a safe place to take risks, where every mistake you make becomes a learning opportunity.



Jackie Valentine, Exhibits Experience Lead

1. If you could be any animal, what animal would you be and why?
Peregrine Falcon. I've always loved the concept of flight and when I am experience something even remotely similar (ziplining, bungee jumping, etc.), I feel more free than at any other time. Peregrine Falcons can fly super fast too, so that makes them extra cool.

2. What’s your favorite medium to work in?
My favorite medium to work in is this T-shirt I got at Expo Day a few years back. It's a size medium. Just kidding! I really like working in cardboard. I really like how it's a material we have a ton of and that we interact with all the time, but most of us just end up throwing it away. It can actually be really versatile when used properly.

3.  If you could live anywhere in the universe, real or fictional, where would you live?
I would probably live in Malibu at Tony Stark's house. Because then that would mean that I'm Tony Stark and that would be amazing.

4.  Who’s your S.T.E.A.M. hero?
Adam Savage is a huge hero of mine.  I love his attitude toward science and the maker community and his encouragement of the upcoming generation.  

5.  Why do you like being an Innovator? 
It gives me a space to share with other people some of the stuff I've learned as well as learning from other people who might even know more than I do. Plus as an Innovator I can test out ideas for builds that may or may not work on the first try. Also there's not a ton of room in my apartment to put in a hot glue station.


Marla Andrade, Exhibits Experience Designer

1. If you could be any animal, what animal would you be and why?
If I were an animal, I’d be a Flamingo. I think they are very majestic and exotic creatures with their pink colored plumage and ability to migrate long distances. Flamingos are also very social birds that live in highly populated colonies, something I identify with.

2. What’s your favorite medium to work in?

Wood: the look, the feel, the smell; everything about it makes me excited. It's extremely versatile and a timeless medium to work with.
Cardboard: the most underrated material in the world. It holds, it shelters, it transforms, it's widely available and it’s my best tool in the studio.
Mixed Media: a mix of paint, tape, string and paper. Because of my art background, I do not shy away from mixing different types of media and finding out what works together.

3.  If you could live anywhere in the universe, real or fictional, where would you live?
I would definitely stay in the west coast. One of the most culturally diverse cities in the world is San Francisco. SF has been one of my favorite cities since I was kid and it still maintains one of my top spots. A city full of innovative people: artists, makers, designers, musicians, architects, chefs—you name it, the energy there is contagious. On top of that, with the beautiful lush green landscapes everywhere you turn, what else can you ask for? The Bay Area is a very special place. 

4.  Who’s your S.T.E.A.M. hero?
I have to stick with my passion for design and modern architecture and go with Charles and Ray Eames, “The Eameses.” They were not only two of the most important innovators, designers and pioneers of their generation, they also worked in the fields of industrial design, fine art and film, and that’s the kind of creativity and ambition I aspire to have. You’re as good as what you know, and for me, I believe knowing something about any field you’re curious about is a way to keep growing and to stay inspired.  

5.  Why do you like being an Innovator? 
I love being curious and learning new things. Reinventing something, finding the solution to a problem, collaborating with others that share my ambition ... these are things Innovators and Makers do and seek everyday. The fact that I get to teach and inspire younger generations while at the same time expanding my own knowledge is the best part of being an Innovator.




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