Visitors will challenge their creativity and dexterity to build tiny robot-esque creations using small, recycled materials.
Limiting materials to a few repetitive parts forces visitors to think laterally about material use (“if all I have are screws and capacitors, how can I transform them into all the different parts that I need?” Rather than, “this part already looks like an arm, so I’ll use it as an arm” ) while restricting the size of the creations encourages visitors to invest extra thought and care into detailed objects they can hold in one hand. Up close and personal = detailed and intimate!


activity video:



Engineering and Invention

age range



  • Glue Guns

  • Capacitors

  • Screws

  • Small pieces of electrical wire

  • Small gears

  • Salvaged L.E.D. Lights

  • Metal pieces

  • Scraps of circuit board

  • Bottle caps especially metal

  • Pre-cut pieces of wire

safety issues

Using Glue Guns and other tools can be hazardous for some people. Encourage young children or visitors with reduced dexterity to collaborate with an adult. Ie. Child chooses the pieces and placement and adult glues them in place. To engage inattentive parents of young kids, try asking if they’re comfortable wit their kids using the glue gun; it reminds them that it’s their choice and responsibility. Do not leave scissors or wire cutters unattended. In addition to becoming hazards, if they escape into the gallery they can disrupt the regular function of some exhibits.


arts and crafts, inventing, engineering, recycled materials, repurposed materials, circuits, robots