Tinkering studio at the exploratorium

Bradley S. Barker

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The Tinkering Studio is located in the Exploratorium Museum in San Francisco, California. The studio is at the forefront of research and evaluation on engagement and teacher professional development in the use of tinkering and making for learning. Divided into two spaces, a floor area for museum visitors and a learning studio for resident artists, allows scientists and exhibit developers to hone their craft and designs. Central to the visitor's experience is the problem space that permits deep engagement of a phenomena and the opportunity to devise meaning through the process of making or in this case tinkering. Tinkering, in the broadest sense, overlaps a great deal with making. Tinkering oftentimes does not lead to a tangible product, and at times there is focus on aesthetics at the cost of functionality as one tinkers. Learning communities can be a challenge in the space due to the drop-in nature of the visits. Learning communities are formed through a carefully designed learning environment that supports social interactions and educators in the space that connect learners. This chapter explores the Tinkering Studio at the Exploratorium Museum.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationResearch Anthology on Makerspaces and 3D Printing in Education
PublisherIGI Global
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9781668462966
ISBN (Print)9781668462959
StatePublished - May 6 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences
  • General Computer Science


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