The San Francisco Exploratorium

exploratorium gallery.jpg

And they have various activities to make stuff, like marble machines from recycled hardware store supplies:

marble machine.jpg

Marble Machines

A marble machine is a creative contraption, made from materials found at local hardware stores, and designed to send a rolling marble on a trip through tubes and funnels, across tracks and bumpers, and into a catch at the end. “We like it because you can use reuse the materials in lots of ways, thinking is made visible through each construction, and no two Marble Machines look alike,” says Mike Petrich, curator of the South Gallery.

Making Cardboard Automata: Toys that Move

This is a wonderful visual step-by-step brief guide to beginning making Toys that Move;

It is a PDF file so I cannot copy any photos here to our wikispace...

But Definitely click on the link and see the engaging magic (engineering/geometry) your students can make.