da Vinci Workshop

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. 

Then, head outdoors during your visit and explore our Bridge, Vitruvian Man, and Lever exhibits that are inspired by da Vinci's perspective and work.

And while at home, learn more about da Vinci's life, work, and impact through our Discover da Vinci resources.

Materials donations for da Vinci Workshop needed!
We need an ongoing supply of clean, recycled, or new materials that can be drawn on, glued, or reshaped into imaginative or engineered creations in the da Vinci Workshop! Please review this list of what we need (and some things we cannot accept). We also appreciate donations for our Take Aparts program that gives kids the opportunity to investigate small electronics. Please review this list of electronics donations we can (and cannot) accept.

If you have materials to donate, please contact Liz Leahey to coordinate your donation—unfortunately we cannot accept any unscheduled drop-offs. All donated items that are accepted will be "quarantined" prior to use by visitors.  

In the da Vinci Workshop you will find printed copies of our Exploration Learning Guide for parents and caregivers, a resource of prompts and suggestions to support exploration of the gallery's STEAM topic with your child. You can also review and print the Guide here online in one of six languages prior to your visit, and/or after your visit for ideas for post-visit activities and conversations that reinforce learning: 

In This Exhibit

Wind 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.

Inventors' Workbenches

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

a young child turns a crank attached to a set of "wings" above, as her father looks on


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.

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.