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January 7, 2020

New exhibition will run January 18 through May 10, 2020

If your parents never let you break open your Etch A Sketch® to find out how it works, or if you’ve been wondering how to stop your toddler’s push toy from making such an infernal racket, you’ll love TOYS: The Inside Story, opening at Discovery Museum this month.

TOYS includes 12 different hands-on stations illustrating the simple mechanisms commonly found in toys, letting visitors see the inner mechanisms of some classic toys and create their own toy-like combinations of gears, pulleys, linkages, cams, and circuits—the things that make toys go.

Visitors will get a close-up view of the cam combination that frees a Jack-in-the-Box, and unmask the amazing collection of switches, cams and motors that make Elmo® dance and Mr. Machine® run. They can trace out a plan on a gigantic Etch A Sketch, and try their hand at keeping a circuit open to win at Operation®.

Many of the exhibits are free-form and open-ended: Gears at Play illustrates the effects of gear ratios as visitors figure out how to spin ballerinas and a carousel, while the Jeepers Peepers challenge at the pulley table may take a little experimentation to solve.

The exhibition was developed by the Montshire Museum of Science in Norwich, Vt., with funding from a National Science Foundation grant awarded to seven museums across the country that comprise TEAMS (Traveling Exhibits at Museums of Science).

TOYS will run January 18 through May 10, 2020 in the museum’s Middlesex Savings Bank Community Gallery. The current exhibition in the gallery will close on January 12 to make space for the new exibition.