Plan Your Visit
Design, Build, Test and Repeat!
Experiment and innovate in Tinker Tank, our hands-on makerspace. There are no correct answers and every day features something different. Try engineering and design challenges through hands-on activities, while learning new skills to make something from nothing and then turn that creation into something better.
PacSci provides the tools you need to persevere through roadblocks, discover new approaches, and solve fun engineering tasks. Celebrate new approaches to creating and making, and take pleasure in knowing that no two design solutions are the same.
Each day at Tinker Tank features new challenges to solve through different activities. One day you may build rockets with rocket scientists, while others you may design spinning tops with ex-surgeons, experiment with hydraulics, or experience the power of earthquakes on the shake table. Experiment with PacSci today!
Maker in Residence
Tinker Tank features a Maker in Residence program to give inspiration and encourage creativity. Get imaginative while exploring engineering, design, and the maker movement. Meet our Makers as they share their skills in science, technology, engineering, design and tinkering.
PacSci’s current Makers in Residence are Kathy Summers and Chris Stanley.
Chris is a maker, educator, artist, environmentalist, alternative transportation advocate. He is insatiably curious about how things work and our relation to the world around us. Hopefully his curiosity is contagious. He is passionate about learning new skills and helping others do the same and master challenging ideas, so we can all build a better world together.
Kathy uncovers meaningful ways of making within art, design, technology, and craft. She loves working on projects that involve the natural world, cultural or family relations, the home, memory, and our senses. Her international experience and interdisciplinary education allow her to look at art and design in a more holistic manner, considering different cultures, processes, and disciplines. She hopes to encourage others to approach the world more creatively and intuitively through her experiments and explorations.
Full monthly schedule (PDF)
About Tinker Tank
Tinker Tank is PacSci’s hands-on tinkering space located in the Carnevali Pavilion by the entrance to the Boeing IMAX® Theater. Guests can expect to see a variety of areas for tinkering with paper airplanes, LEGO, wooden architecture, and more. Tinker Tank has a staffed drop-in activity every day, as well as many different unfacilitated activities that guests can explore on their own. We encourage guests to design, test, and redesign their creations as we work together to solve fun engineering tasks.
In Tinker Tank there are no right answers, only different ways of approaching a problem. We strongly believe that testing and redesigning are key features in the scientific design process, and failures are a learning opportunity. Our staff and volunteers are eager to help visitors puzzle through design problems and explore new ideas. We want to give guests the tools they need to persevere through roadblocks, discover new approaches, and to be proud of their work at the end of the day.
Tinker Tank offers both staffed and unstaffed activities all day! Come tinker with thousands of LEGO bricks, or build the next Colosseum out of wooden Keva blocks. Our LEGO bricks, Keva blocks, vertical wind tables, origami tables, and gravity walls are always available for exploration.
Additionally, our engaged and knowledgeable staff host a variety of activities that change once or twice a week. We design activities that are hands-on, open ended and require thinking outside the box. We believe that everyone has the ability to innovate and create something amazing!
On any given day you could see one of these challenges:
- Circuit Blocks
- Earthquake table
- Crash test
- Lego Dominoes
- Lego City
- Paper Rockets
- Mechanical Limbs
- Egg Drop, Pringle Drop
- Duck Regatta
- Stop on a Dime
- Air Foils
Want to learn to solder? Maybe design your own moving toy, or build an animation machine? Exercise both creativity and technical skill in Tinker Tank’s family workshops, designed to let kids and their parents work together to design, build, and test something fantastic during an in-depth, 90-minute session. New workshop topics debut each month; just make sure to pick up a free workshop ticket along with your admission – seating is limited!
Do you love to make things? Do you enjoy sharing your passion for building with others? Pacific Science Center and Tinker Tank are accepting volunteers on a continuous basis.
Maker in Residence Program
In addition to facilitator volunteers, Tinker Tank also hosts a Maker in Residence on select days. The Maker in Residence program provides space and materials to support individuals looking to develop, expand, and share their skills in science, technology, engineering, design and tinkering. Our goal is to inspire guests to explore engineering, design, and the maker movement and to demonstrate to guests and volunteers applications of skills from those fields. Check back for future opportunities.