Plan Your Visit
Design, build, test and repeat!
Join us for constant experimentation and innovation in our hands-on makerspace, Tinker Tank. In Tinker Tank, there are no right answers, and no two days are the same. We offer engineering and design challenges, hands-on activities, and endless possibilities. On one visit, you might find yourself building rockets with actual rocket scientists, while on another, you could be constructing mechanical limbs with students from the University of Washington, or designing spinning tops with ex-surgeons. Our engaged staff and diverse and knowledgeable volunteers are eager to help guests puzzle through design problems and explore new ideas.
Don’t miss what our staff are up to – visit Tinker Tank today! Experiment with hydraulics, build and launch a rocket or experience the power of earthquakes on the shake table. We’ll provide the tools you need to persevere through roadblocks, discover new approaches, and solve fun engineering tasks. Learn the skills to make something from nothing and to make that something even better. We celebrate new approaches to creating and making, and love that no two design solutions look the same.
Full monthly schedule (PDF)
Tinker Tank is our hands-on tinkering space in Carnevali Pavilion by the entrance to the Boeing IMAX® Theater. This bright space offers daily engineering and design challenges, and hands-on activities. Guests can expect to see a variety of areas for tinkering with paper airplanes, LEGO, wooden architecture, and much more. Each day Tinker Tank has a staffed drop-in activity, and 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!
For School Groups
As part of Pacific Science Center’s Exploration Labs Program for school field trips, Tinker Tank is offering reservable morning programs for schools! Join a Pacific Science Center educator for a hands-on tinkering experience. All of our Exploration Labs encourage students to use the science and engineering practices highlighted in the Next Generation Science Standards. Using mathematical and computational thinking, students will work through the design process: creating, prototyping, and iterating on their ideas. Content is tailored to the grade level of students participating.
For an up-to-date listing, and more information about our school programs, click here, or call us at (206) 443-2925.
Volunteer With Us!
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.
In addition to Tinker Tank facilitator volunteers, Tinker Tank also hosts a Maker in Residence on select days. Akin to an Artist in Residency program, 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.
Click here for information on all volunteer opportunities.