An Abstract Theme


“Make something that flows”

This was the challenge that we presented to visitors a couple of weeks ago.  As facilitators, it was our challenge to document what visitors did when given the challenge.  Typically themes in MAKESHOP revolve around less abstract ideas like 3D objects or light, but mMake FLOW. What does that even mean?


I spent about an hour in the morning thinking about this theme.  I could observe the flow of visitors through the exhibit or I could observe how people explored the flow of electricity through our circuit blocks.  I could even just observe how people use the sink!


In the end, I decided to build my own version of “flow” by designing a simple ramp for a ball to roll down.  I built a structure out of recycled materials and tape that allowed for a ball to roll from point A to point B.


To my relief, several groups of visitors helped me continue this simple physics experiment by adding more ramps and tubes and tracks to the structure.  The project grew and changed throughout the day.

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A theme like “flow” may seem abstract but we can always find some way to invite visitors to join in with our fun experiments.  Maybe it is more rewarding to challenge visitors to build something a little more abstract.  You have to invest a little more time and thought into your creation, and I would say that that is a good thing.  Visitors should care about what they’re making and creating in MAKESHOP.  A challenge like this helps expand the sense of possibility at the Museum.





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