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An Auckland family visits Machine Makers, the new exhibition at MOTAT

An Auckland family visits Machine Makers, the new exhibition at MOTAT

Auckland family visits Machine Makers at MOTAT exhibition
George Smith visits Machine Makers new exhibition at MOTAT
George on hamster wheel at MOTAT
" I definitely want to go on the big wheel first"

Hands up who gave or received a LEGO or construction related toy this Christmas? It’s always been a favourite gift among our 3 children and even as they enter that tween-light zone the chance to build, create and make things ‘go’ remains a Christmas morning winner.

To that end it was great to head back to MOTAT again these holidays to discover that their latest exhibition Machine Makers is all about building, construction and engineering.

It was just George (8 years) and I visiting MOTAT today and Machine Makers was a definite highlight of the trip. The exhibit is divided into two parts, the first part of the exhibition is all about action – climbing, spinning, sliding and playing and the second part is a maker space laboratory.

MOTAT has engineered six full scale industrial themed simple machines which everyone, kids and adults alike, are encouraged to climb all over. Think giant hamster wheel, human hauling levers and bird cage contraptions in which you can lift yourself using various pulley systems.

The next stage is the maker space laboratory where you can let your creative juices flow making your own complex or completely improbable inventions. I was particularly surprised at how much time George spent inside the maker space area. There were a busy cluster of kids aged from 5 to 12 year old, hard at work designing their own complex machine prototypes. I sense that the chance to add your final cardboard creation to the display was a big draw card for many budding young inventors.

George at maker space at MOTAT
“It’s good to have an area where you can go if you’re a bit tired and you can still make stuff”
The Maker Space Lab at MOTAT
Maker Space Lab in the Machine Makers exhibition at MOTAT

As a Mum I feel that the beauty of MOTAT is that it offers such a great variety of things to do. There’s active big scale climbing attractions, noisy things with buttons to push and for contrast there are also plenty of quieter spaces and activities where kids (and grown-ups) can take some time to think, create and recharge.

I appreciate the amount of hands on experiences on offer at MOTAT and feel like this is one of its best points of differences to other more traditional museum environments. Machine Makers follows this interactive model and seems links in perfectly with all the other nostalgic experiences that keep bringing us back to MOTAT time and again.

George and I would happily recommend popping along for a day exploring MOTAT and its Machine Makers exhibition these holidays!

Machine Makers exhibition at MOTAT

When: Machine Makers will be at MOTAT throughout the holidays and over the first school term of 2020.
What: The exhibition showcases the 6 simple machines that are the building blocks behind all the complex engineering and machinery that surrounds us.
Where: You’ll find Machine Makers at MOTAT’s Great North Rd site, inside the hot pink Building 6 display hall.
More info: https://www.motat.org.nz/exhibitions/machine-makers/

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