Kids in lab coats exploring Lab

Da Vinci's Garage

DaVinci’s Garage is a safe place to take risks where we believe that real tools develop real skills and that everyone is capable.


These projects are designed to instill confidence, build competence, and help every visitor view themself as a Maker, capable of understanding and affecting the world around them.

DaVinci’s Garage is a Tinkering Studio – What is Tinkering?

  • Thinking with your hands, learning by doing

  • Interacting with familiar things in unfamiliar ways
  • Iterative: trying, and then trying a bit differently, and then trying something else, and then…
  • Engaging deeply with a process or material
  • A chance to experience frustration and find solutions
  • A transactive process. People share what they learn and build off of one another


What are we practicing when we tinker in DaVinci’s Garage?

  • Inquiry based learning: We pursue avenues of learning that interest us.
  • Iterative thinking: We try something, assess what worked and what didn’t, then try it again a little bit differently. Over and over again until we find out what works!
  • The Engineering Design Cycle: We are engaging with principles of engineering design in intuitive ways on both a micro and macro scale in everything we try and create.

In DaVinci’s Garage you’ll find:

  • Opportunities to think with your hands and learn by trying

  • Things to build and test
  • Projects that challenge you to iterate – try again and again and again, making little changes each time until you find what works!

Our tinkering exhibits include

  • Marble Matrix
  • Wind Tube and Air Table
  • Keva Blocks
  • Chain Reaction

DaVinci’s Garage Workshop

          This is a space where we can do more in-depth projects with the help of a facilitator. The availability of this space is limited to times we have facilitators to run it – if you’d be interested in being a facilitator in the DaVinci’s Garage Workshop, please fill out a volunteer application here!

Workshop Projects include

  • Cardboard City
  • Cardboard Arcade
  • Junkyard Orchestra
  • Brushbots
  • Scribblebots
  • Proba-BUILD-ity
  • Stop Motion Animation
  • Electronics Take-Apart

Statement of Purpose

DaVinci’s Garage is ScienceWorks Museum’s tinkering studio, where we encourage inquiry-led, iterative learning

The projects in DaVinci’s Garage allow visitors to make, try, test, and struggle. No two visitors will interact with the projects in DaVinci’s Garage in the same way because each will bring their own ideas and will be making, trying, testing, and struggling toward their own self-determined goals.

The projects in DaVinci’s Garage expand visitors’ ideas about how they can interact with the world around them. Our projects teach resilience, independence, creativity, and curiosity.

DaVinci’s Garage is successful when visitors leave feeling confident, competent, and capable of understanding and affecting the world they exist in.