Use tools, tinker, design, build, and invent like the artist, scientist, engineer, and inventor Leonardo da Vinci. Using recycled materials, off-the-shelf supplies, and tools and technology ranging from scissors and saws to electronic circuits and conductive thread, you can design and build diverse creations inspired by the creative thinking and engineering of da Vinci. 

Creative and industrious visitors go through a great deal of materials as they invent their masterpieces in da Vinci. We need an ongoing supply of clean, recycled, or new materials that can be drawn on, glued, or reshaped into imaginative or engineered creations! Please click here for a list of the donated items we request for da Vinci Workshop and for our very popular Take Aparts program. Donations for da Vinci Workshop can be dropped off at the front desk during business hours. For household electronics donations for the Take Aparts program, please contact Liz Leahey in advance to coordinate your donation.

In this Exhibit

a boy tests out materials to fly on a vertical airstream table

Experiment with aerodynamics principles and engineering concepts at the vertical airstream. Use a variety of materials, design and test prototypes that fly and hover.

a mom and two young girls work with craft supplies while seated at a table
Inventor's Workbenches

Inspired by da Vinci, use your imagination and engineering skills to invent new creations and art using recycled materials.

a young girl turns a crank connected to gears and a pair of wings

Use gears to flap the wings of a model flying machine, inspired by the giant ornithopter that da Vinci designed to test human-powered flight.

a girl places her finger on a spinning disk covered in sand to make a pattern
Sand Spinners

Create unexpected patterns as you draw in the sand on a spinning disk. Use brushes, rods, rakes, and your fingers to form circles, spirals and other surprising shapes.