Create and Innovate with Tinker Tank Makerspace

Caitlin McQuinn
Caitlin McQuinn, Tinker Tank Supervisor

During the third week of May, it is National Week of Making where we honor makers and their innovations. We wanted to highlight our own makerspace, Tinker Tank and its renewal this July!

Hear from our Tinker Tank Supervisor Caitlin McQuinn on the exhibit, what tinkering around teaches you, and what to expect this summer.

What is Tinker Tank?

Tinker Tank is a hands-on makerspace where PacSci guests can get curious, tinker, and make. There is always something to get your hands on in Tinker Tank! You can learn new skills, try out a design challenge, tinker with tools or materials, or design your own creation. Available tools, materials, and skill building activities rotate regularly, so you will never get bored in a makerspace!

Everyone is welcome in Tinker Tank! Humans are makers at heart and Tinker Tank has something for everyone—kids and adults are equally encouraged to tinker and make.

Tinker Tank first started in 2013 as a small pop-up exhibit with a former PacSci employee Greg Kono. As PacSci heard more and more positive guest feedback about Tinker Tank, we decided to give it a more permanent home with a variety of programming and events! Here we are almost 10 years later and its still a huge hit!

What do guests learn with Tinker Tanker?

In a makerspace, kids and adults alike can learn a variety of skills, from sewing to coding to woodworking. With these skills, people learn that they are capable of making something with their own hands, inspired by their own creativity. From there people gain the confidence and curiosity to seek out new ideas and new challenges in the world, developing their creative problem-solving skills as they continue on their maker journey.

Kids and adults alike are empowered when they become makers, when they realize they are capable of doing what once seemed impossible. They learn that they have agency to build, create, and solve problems. A maker is not an expert in everything; a maker is a person who knows they are capable of learning a craft or a skill and improving it with time and practice. They begin to think of things in terms of, “I could make that if I wanted to,” because they know they are capable of learning.

What are you doing to prepare for PacSci’s July renewal?

Tinker Tank is moving and going to be neighbors with the butterflies! We have many materials to get organized and fun activity tables to revamp. Guests will see some popular staples return, including the Lego table and the circuit tile table, as well as something new.

What are plans for Tinker Tank when we open in July?

We’re excited to share our new laser cutter—come see it in action! We’ll be cutting out all sorts of fun cardboard shapes that guests can use to get creative and build their own cardboard sculptures.

After opening, is Tinker Tank going to expand or move to a larger space? Yes! Tinker Tank is going to continue to grow, stay tuned for more!

Want to start tinkering today?

We got you covered! More than 20 Tinker Tank activities are on YouTube! Create your own slime or a lava lamp at home, or build a carton boat. View our Tinker Tank YouTube playlist.

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