The Tinkering Loft

Through October 30. Create your own spinning top, craft a wind-powered vehicle, or team up to build a fantastic tower in Montshire’s expansive new Tinkering Loft.

This innovative and interactive space engages visitors through fun and whimsical challenges that get them thinking about concepts in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). 

Visitors at Tinkering Loft activityThe Tinkering Loft builds on two years of successful programs that Montshire staff members have developed, tested, and refined with the help of hundreds of participants of all age groups. The 2,500-square-foot exhibition has four activity areas:

  • Families with young children can explore “Build It,” a creative playspace filled with oversized foam blocks. Kids are free to build forts and invent their own games. This free-form area helps develop problem-solving, collaboration, and communication skills by allowing kids to experiment with geometry, materials, symmetry, and design concepts. (Open daily 10–5)
  • Three “Invitation to Tinker” spaces welcome all visitors to take on STEM challenges at their own pace. These areas offer project activities that encourage amateur engineers to build, experiment, and iterate on their personalized designs. For example, Spinning Tops urges older kids and adults to construct a twirling top from nuts, bolts, washers, and cardboard, and then to improve on their designs by tweaking the weight, center of gravity, and moment of inertia. Other activities include Design Planks and Wind Vehicles. Open daily 10–5.

Museum Explainer building a Design Planks structureIn addition to strengthening STEM skills, The Montshire’s tinkering activities provide opportunities to build “grit” – the perseverance and problem-solving mindset needed to succeed as a 21st-century learner. When people tinker, they try out ideas, make adjustments, and discover science firsthand. 

The Tinkering Loft is made possible with support from our Premier Exhibition Sponsor, Chroma Technology Corporation, our Exhibition Supporter, Red River Charitable Foundation, and donors to the David Goudy Discovery Fund.

WCAX-TV is the media sponsor for the Tinkering Loft.