Maker Space Build-Along: Mechanical Automata!

by  Playful Engineers

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This hands-on workshop is the follow-up to Jay's 'Introduction to Mechanical Automata' presentation. A mechanical automaton is an automated puppet or scene made to resemble humans, animals, or other objects in motion. After the presentation, this program may be booked up to 3 consecutive times for more types of part making and construction, and more in-depth work in general, though if the teacher is willing to help the class prep in the days between the presentation and the workshop, quite a lot can happen during one workshop session!

Program Rating

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About This Program


Multipoint: $200.00
Multipoint Premium: $150.00
View Only: 200.00
View Only Premium: $150.00
Point to Point: $200.00
Point to Point Premium: $150.00
By Request: $200.00
By Request Premium: $150.00


45 minutes

Target Audience

Education: Grade(s) 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, Teacher(s)/Educator(s), Parent, Adult Learners, Homeschool/Family , Learning PodPublic Library: Library Patrons, Library Staff

Minimum participants:


Maximum participants:

classroom size

Primary Disciplines

STEM, Sciences, Problem Solving

Program Delivery Mode

Google Hang Out

Booking Information


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Receive this program and 9 more for one low price when you purchase the CILC Virtual Expeditions package. Learn more

For more information contact CILC at (507) 388-3672

Provider's Cancellation Policy

24 hours prior for cancellation

About This Provider

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Playful Engineers

Amherst, MA
United States

As a teaching artist/engineer, maker/tinkerer, musician, recording artist, and educator, Jay Mankita has worked with kids and families for over 30 years. His workshops and presentations are experiential and inspiring. Jay is a life-long learner, with a passion for engineering, especially using repurposed toys and household objects. 

Jay has presented thousands of STEM related, hands-on programs since 2015. Jay is also a touring musician, a Parents' Choice Award winning recording artist, and a songwriter with songs that have traveled the world.

Jay Mankita

Program Details


The format changes based on whether, and how much the classroom teacher has prepped materials for the session. Options for in-class making include:
1) Reverse motion (scissors) linkages from pencils and rubber bands.
2) Camshafts from pencils and cardboard, foam, or lids
3) Frames from cardboard boxes
4) Camshafts from paperclips
5) Clothespins for spring-loaded mechanisms


The participants will engage in a hands-on activity to build a kinetic toy out of ordinary materials.
The participants will increase comprehension of basic mechanical principals.
The participants will increase tinkering and making skills.

Standards Alignment

National Standards

Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions 3-5
Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions 6-8
Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions 9-12
ETS1A 3-5 -- Defining and Delimiting and Engineering Problem
ETS1A 6-8 -- Defining and Delimiting and Engineering Problem
ETS1A 9-12 -- Defining and Delimiting and Engineering Problem
ETS1B 3-5 -- Developing Possible Solutions
ETS1B 6-8 -- Developing Possible Solutions
ETS1B 9-12 -- Developing Possible Solutions
PS2A 3-5 -- Forces and motion
PS2A 6-8 -- Forces and motion
PS2A 9-12 -- Forces and motion