Given that the smallest computer available in the 1960s had a price tag of $18,000 ($140,000 in today's dollars), required a small cargo van to move, and had RAM measured in 12-bit word lengths, how did people code and game at home in the Age of Aquarius? The answer is that they used mechanical and basic electronic equivalents of the same Boolean logic and binary systems behind the operations of even today's most sophisticated computers. This program will explore several of the most popular coding tools and gaming systems of the period, provide generous hands-on exploration time with them, and give a healthy dose of the history (or nostalgia) behind the modern computer revolution. Space and supplies are limited; registration preferred. Appropriate for tweens and older; adult helpers required for children ages 10 and under.
Before the invention of the electric motors, software and computers that power today's toys and robots, there was the age of mechanics where motion was driven by cranks and gears. Coding was done with cams and followers, and simple machines created surprisingly complex engines mirroring the processes of life. This program investigates the basic mechanisms of vintage automata, explores their progression from giant machinations in medieval towers to miniature curiosities in royal parlors, and demonstrates their inspiration for the industrial revolution, modern computing and robotics. Space and supplies are limited; registration preferred. Appropriate for tweens and older; adult helpers required for children ages 10 and under. Please visit our online calendar to register.
Playful hacking can be a great way to learn how technologies work. Using spare parts, exciting kits, and team collaboration, fire up your imagination and see what you can make.
Join us in The Studio for a variety of tinkering-themed projects, from dissecting an old computer, to hacking broken games for parts, to making our own tech toys. Appropriate for students in grades 6-12.