Simple Machines

With Simple Machines, museum-goers build gear and pulley assemblies on a galvanized steel peg wall. Pulleys are on ½” shafts that fit into the peg wall. Various lengths of stretchy bands and multiple size pulley combinations allow the guest to construct complex belt and pulley assemblies. Gears are magnetic and can be built anywhere on the wall. Guest also control three overhead shafts, two gear and pulley driven shafts and one internal camshaft. All three shafts move up and down to create a flying effect for the winged pig pairs at the end of each shaft.

An alternative activity is a series of clips and three lengths of 30-foot rubber track. Guests can create a “roller coaster” with loops and hills and evaluate their creation by rolling an acrylic ball down the track.


Thinkery, Austin, TX