We'll be back with more fun soon!

Although we couldn't host our community on site for Tinkerfest in 2020, we still celebrated making, tinkering, creativity and a maker mindset that sees challenges as opportunities throughout the month of October.  

If you missed any of the Tinkertober activities, keep scrolling. 

Tinkertober, 23 to 30, 2020 | Shadow Stories

What will you discover in the shadows this week? Whatever you can create, imagine and make with light, some props, and creativity! 

We're closing out Tinkertober with activities that playfully explore light, shadow and visual perception. For centuries, people used light and shadows not only to discover time, seasonal changes, and cycles of plant growth, but also tell stories to share information and entertain themselves after the sun sets. 

Weekly Challenge 

Set up your own spooky, or not so spooky, set with characters you make, turn off the lights, grab your phone and a flashlight or other light source and create a story. Or, find a number of light sources, some reflective and refractive materials and explore the interplay between light and shadow. 

Share your discoveries with us at #tinkertober2020.

Exploring with light is an illuminating experience! Every light source contains a variety of wavelengths that often can't be seen without using some kind of filter. You don't need a special filter to discover what's hidden in the light, often a simple glass of water is all that's needed. 

Amazeum Executive Director Sam Dean gets your exploration started in this video. 


Here's how to play along with us.

  • Visit the Amazeum. Discover special activities in the 3M Tinkering Hub, Workshop, and Pop-up activities on the museum floor. Reserve tickets here.
  • Bookmark this page. Explore video content from Amazeum YOU and Pop-up videos.
  • Be Social. Engage with the Amazeum on our social networks.

YouTube Channel  |  Facebook | Instagram 

In the 3M Tinkering Hub

Shadow box

Dancing lanterns

Pop Up Activities at the Amazeum

Chalky Shadows

Hidden Messages


Phosphorescent Play


Amazeum YOU | Zoetrope Animation

Amazeum YOU | Light Painting

Amazeum YOU | Light and Shadow

Tinkertober, 16 to 22, 2020 | Wired!

Amp up your creativity this week of Tinkertober with powerful activities that connect making and tinkering with electricity and technology. We're bringing out all our bot friends (the good kind) for pop-up activities that make technology and coding fun and accessible to even the youngest engineer. It's all hands on tech in the 3M Tinkering Hub with circuit blocks and soldering. If you made a mask last week in the Hub bring it in this week to bling it up with LED lights.  

Weekly Challenge 

If you've attended Tinkerfest in the past, you know we love to take stuff apart to discover what's inside and how they work. We won't be dong tech take-a-part this year, but you can do it at home. If you're not a grownup, get a grownups permission before starting.  Just follow a couple of safety steps. Cut the plug off so the device can not get power. Supervise your child. Use tools appropriately. Leave TVs alone. 

Share your discoveries with us at #tinkertober2020

Museums and science centers from around the country come to help us at Tinkerfest. We usually have electronics available to be taken apart and harvested for small motors, circuit boards, wires, fans, and dvd trays for other projects. If you choose to take on the weekly challenge and take some tech apart, here's a video from our friends at the Thinkery in Austin, Texas to help you get started. 


Tinkertober, 9 to 15, 2020 | Wearables

What to wear is limited only by your imagination when you can make wearables out of anything. Pull those plastic grocery bags out from under the sink or in the closet. Plastic is a versatile material that's easy to weave, fuse, braid, glue and stitch together to make trashionable items. Got some cardboard boxes laying around? From clothing and hats to superhero suits and masks, anything you need for make believe can be yours for the making from cardboard. No need to shop for costumes this year. 

Whatever you make this week, hold on to for next week when you'll have the opportunity to amp up your designs. 

Weekly Challenge

Make an upcycled mask or costume for Halloween from cardboard, chipboard, wood, metal or plastic. Discover the materials you have at home to make your best mask. Or build a cardboard robot or superhero. Don't be afraid to send us your photos. #tinkertober2020

Need a little inspiration to get started on your wearable cardboard creation?

Watch this. 


Tinkertober, 2 through 9, 2020 | Chain Reactions

Explore Sir Issac Newton's laws of physical motion and gravity with chain reactions. Chain reactions are Rube Goldberg inspired contraptions built from just about anything you can find around the house, garage, or even in nature. Assemble the parts and pieces and set the contraption in motion and tinker with it until it works how you want. How small or large a contraption is up to you. 

Weekly Challenge

Build the longest, tallest, or smallest chain reaction at your house or classroom (with teacher permission). Send us a video of your chain reaction and we'll share your creativity on our social channels.

Hey, you want to see a super cool chain reaction? 

Watch this!

Find out more about Maker Mark Perez in this blog.