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Motion, Perception, and Invention

Saturday, March 18, 10:00am ‐ 5:00pm

Celebrate the innovative spirit of Leonardo da Vinci with hands-on activities.

Make a glider or parachute, try out a camera obscura, and build a mechanical automaton. Challenge yourself with bridge-building, perception puzzles, and ways taking flight.

Da Vinci Day is designed to encourage a curiosity about the way things work, explored through observation, tinkering, and experimenting—the very things that led da Vinci to a life of discovery and innovation.

Da Vinci Drawing

Free with Admission

Camera Obscura
Bridge Building Challenge
Zoetrope Animation
Perspective Drawing
Machine Me Inventor’s Notebook
Hole Punch Puzzle
Wind Challenge
Sail Cars

Paid Workshops

Da Vinci Gliders
Build a functioning model of Da Vinci’s bird wing glider in the woodshop. Da Vinci designed this hang glider after studying bird flight and wing mechanisms. It’s one of his few flying machines that actually flies. Ages 7+
$12 members; $14 nonmembers (+$8 museum admission)

Register   March 18, 11:00

Register  March 18, 1:30

Wooden Sketchbooks

Da Vinci’s sketchbooks were essential to planning inventions. Build a heavy-duty wooden sketchbook of your own in the woodshop. Use a power drill and saw, and learn how to spiral bind a book. Finish with a patchwork of wooden veneer pieces. Ages 8+
$12 members; $14 nonmembers (+$8 museum admission)

Register   March 18, 11:00

Register  March 18, 1:30

Digital Portraiture

Da Vinci used modern techniques, like the camera obscura, to create art. “Modern techniques” take a different meaning these days. In this portraiture workshop, we’ll use digital cameras, green screens, and GIMP software to create portraits inspired by the master. Ages 9+
$12 members; $14 nonmembers (+$8 museum admission)

Register   March 18, 1:30

Automaton: Da Vinci’s “Robot”

Using an elaborate system of pulleys and gears, Leonardo da Vinci created a mechanical knight that could stand, sit, and move its arms—now considered to be “the first human robot.” Try your hand at making a mechanical sculpture of your own, by building a moving fish out of cardboard and cams. Ages 7+
$10 materials fee

DROP IN   March 18, 1:00 ‐ 3:00