The Tinkering Studio At Science Centre Singapore: Think With Your Hands

Tinkering Studio
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Using a combination of tracks and pipes, little hands busily chart out a path for a marble down a wall. Welcome to Science Centre Singapore’s Tinkering Studio – where learning is by doing, getting things wrong is part of the process, and experimentation rules.

The Tinkering Studio is the result of a collaboration between Science Centre Singapore and San Francisco-based science centre, The Exploratorium.

It is a hands-on activity space where kids are encouraged to fiddle around and come up with new ideas.

Made up of various activity stations, kids can concoct solutions to challenges posted, or even choose to redefine the problem and set their own challenges.

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The Tinkering Studio was launched on 22 January 2016 by Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister for Foreign Affairs.

The activities at The Tinkering Studio draw on The Exploratorium’s more than 15 years experience in developing tinkering activities.

Activities at The Tinkering Studio

A highlight at The Tinkering Studio is the Marble Machine.

Against a peg wall, kids can get fiddly with an assortment of everyday objects that include vacuum hoses and funnels as they build a path to direct a marble on a journey down the 13.6 square metre wall.

It is up to the child’s imagination to decide how “Rube Goldberg-istic” to be when trying to create a passage for the marble. Or they can even come up with something else that  he or she would like to do with the marble and the wall.

Marble Machine

The Marble Machine even provides enough breadth for children to work collaboratively on constructing a path for the marble.

Pinbell Station

Another highlight of the Tinkering Studio is the Pinbell station

Here, children get to design their own pinball machine.

A collection of blocks and bells create unique melodies when struck by a bouncing ball à la pinball machine. Kids can stretch out across the table to arrange and rearrange the different blocks and bells, “composing” their own little ditties with the objects.

Stations at the Tinkering Studio

There are other stations at the Tinkering Studio such as a Wind Table. 

The Tinkering Studio is also where the annual Tinkerfest, which promotes hands-on learning through mini projects, is held.

Tinker Away

At the opening of the Tinkering Studio is 2016, Associate Professor Lim Tit Meng, Science Centre Singapore’s Chief Executive said, “Tinkering involves project-based discovery, and encourages learning through making connections as opposed to step-by-step guidance. In developing the next generation of thinkers, scientists and engineers, we need to start young and engage minds in fun-filled science exploration through ‘thinking with their hands’”

The Tinkering Studio is located at Science Centre Singapore Hall E.

Enter through Hall C, past the E-mmersive Experiential Environments exhibition.

Admission is free for all Science Centre Singapore ticket holders.

If you enjoy the Tinkering Studio, we bet that you’ll also like Science Centre Singapore’s mirror maze.

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