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Build. Fiddle. Create.

Do you like working with your hands and finding out how things work?  Imagination Station has the program for you. Join us in the IDEA Lab at the science center and embrace your creativity and make something that is uniquely yours. Celebrate innovation and ingenuity and tap into the scientist, engineer and artist within. We can't wait to create with you!

October: Electronic & Toy Take Apart

What makes your electronics make noise, move, and light-up? Find out by taking them apart using tools such as screwdrivers, saws and scissors to explore the inner circuitry and mechanisms. Then use the pieces of old electronics to make a new Frankentoy!

The only limit is your own imagination and creativity.

September - Towering Tinker

Explore balance and stability all month long in Tinkering Space! The activity - perfect for makers and tinkerers of all ages - uses simple, familiar materials in new ways. Stack cups, blocks, containers and more and experiment with balance, counting and measurement.

August: Light Play

Light play encourages kids and adults alike to find new uses for everyday objects. Seeing common objects such as strawberry baskets, plastic mesh, toys, doilies behave in surprising ways in the light. You’ll be surprised with all of the unexpected experiments you’ll uncover and new uses for these objects. It’s a playful and inventive approach to exploring light, shadows, reflections, refraction, symmetry and motion.

Mother and son using circuit blocks

Mother and son using circuit blocks

July: Circuit Blocks

Come experiment with electrical components like batteries, bulbs, buzzers, switches and more. This is a fun and great way to start learning about circuits. Actual components, used in the real world, are mounted to sturdy smooth wood blocks that are designed for a guest to walk up and start creating electrical connections between everyday objects. See the many possibilities when you build with circuit blocks.

Join us in Tinkering Space located in the IDEA Lab at Imagination Station!

May: It's Electric ... Fashion!

Science and art are coming together in Tinkering Space!

Using LEDs, wires, coin-cell batteries and switches, we'll explore circuitry while creating beautiful wearable objects.

This activity will help you understand how electricity flows through a circuit and encourage you to explore your creativity by making a piece of jewelry, a headband and so much more.

There are no rules or templates, just your own imagination.

April: Birdhouses

Spring has sprung and birds are house hunting! You can help them settle in with this month's Tinkering Space activity: birdhouses!

Build your very own birdhouse and give some of your feathered friends a safe and warm place to nest. Using wood and recycled materials you can get creative and bring any vision to life. And don't worry, we'll be there to help you with your design.

March - One-Stringed Instruments

Musical instruments have existed before humans had written language… WOW!

Before we had electric guitars and keyboards, instruments were simple, but still made beautiful sounds. Let’s tinker with the science of sound with one-stringed instruments in IDEA Lab’s Tinkering Space!

Using wood, drills, cans and wire, we’ll create an instrument capable of making a wide variety of musical notes with just one string. Then, we’ll amp things up to let you really feel the music.

February: Wooden Automata

Explore simple mechanical elements like levers, cams and linkages in a playful way.
This activity is easy to start but becomes more complex as you become familiar with possible motions and imagine ways to decorate your contraption, in a unique personalized way.

January: Cardboard Creations

Put your creativity to the test!

With a little imagination, some simple tools and a few engineering principles something as simple as cardboard can become just about anything you want it to be. Whether young or all grown up, use the engineering design process to imagine, plan, build, adjust and improve your Cardboard Creation.

Give it a try! There’s no end to the possibilities

December: Toy Making

Channel your inner elf and learn how to make your very own toys this holiday season!

Using wood and other upcycled materials, tinkerers of all ages can design, build and decorate their very own toys! With the help of Imagination Station's Tinkering Team, you'll learn some basic tool skills like using a sander or saw to construct your new creation.

Use your imagination and we can help you bring your vision to life!

November: Cel Animation

Have you ever wanted to create your own animated story? Fire up your imaginations, it's time to create something awesome!

Back before digital animation, creators used cel animation which is the art of creating 2D animation by hand on sheets of transparent plastic called "cels." Make subtle changes to your design and bring it to life. How? Our eyes can only see about 10 pics per second and anything faster than that blends together to create the illusion of motion.

What story will you tell?

October: Scary-onettes

Put on your engineering hats and let's get spooky with puppets!
There are many different kinds of puppets - most are moved from below with your hand, finger or rod. A marionette (or as we call them during October, scary-onette) is a puppet with strings that with enough practice and creativity, it can come to life! During this activity, you will put your creativity and design skills to the test. Will you make a ghost, ghoul or goblin and how will you make it move?
With the right tools, ideas and guidance, your creativity will come to life!

September: Lego Robotics

Get your gadgets and gizmos in gear and let’s code and create robots!

Humans have long had a fascination with robots, today these machines are simple enough for all ages to use and program! Aspiring robotics engineers can discover how robots are designed, built and programmed for specific tasks by doing it themselves with Legos and a computer. Learn about physics, engineering and programming while building and having fun.

August: Toledo Speaks!: A Community Mural Project

What's your Toledo story?

Join in the creation of a community mural telling the Toledo Story. Complete a square in a larger mural to be displayed inside Imagination Station. Use images, words and different materials to share your Toledo tradition. This can be something that you celebrate or value as a community, as a family or as a Toledo resident. This creative exercise celebrates the rich history of Toledo and helps us all recognize the value and power of storytelling.

Let your creative voice be heard!

Hand and Rod Puppets

Hand and Rod Puppets

June: Hand and Rod Puppets

The art of puppetry has been around for hundreds of years. Artists and writers use them to tell stories and make people laugh. Some puppets are very elaborate, others are simple, all of them are FUN!

Let's make something unique. Made out of socks, sticks, foam and some decorative material,  we will create a working "muppet" inspired Puppet. The science is in the design. How will it move? What will it look like? It's all up to you!

Join us in Tinkering Space located in the IDEA Lab at Imagination Station!

Thank you to our Educational Partners!

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presenting sponsors
catalyst sponsors
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