ImaginOn welcomes TINKERTOY®: Build Your Imagination™ exhibit May 20.

Interactive, educational experience runs through September 10.

Charlotte, NC (May 12, 2017) – There’s no limit to what kids can do in TINKERTOY®: Build Your Imagination™, a new interactive exhibit, targeted to children ages 3-10, that will be at Charlotte Mecklenburg Library’s ImaginOn from May 20 to September 10, 2017.

Giant replicas of the classic TINKERTOY construction set provide the framework for fun, educational activities inspired by GE technologies that turn imagination into working solutions to real world challenges. Kids can design, build and work together to make amazing TINKERTOY structures. Experiment with renewable energy and water filtration; create your own inventions, and build, build, build!

Visitors to the exhibit will enjoy a variety of activities that promote imagination and collaboration:

  • The Welcome Gallery - The Welcome Gallery celebrates the 95th anniversary of TINKERTOY through a retrospective of the toy’s history, and highlights GE technologies that improve communities around the globe every day.
  • Invent – Children are encouraged to think about where ideas come from, and to explore the emerging field of biomimicry – nature’s influence on design. Visitors can match real inventions with their natural inspiration and create a design of their own.
  • Collaborate – Dual-sided panels allow visitors to work independently or with a partner to create TINKERTOY designs.
  • Energize – Children can explore GE’s commitment to renewable energy as they use a kid-powered fan to test their own wind-powered TINKERTOY creations.
  • Change – A Rube Goldberg-like contraption illustrates the power of creative thinking and how simple mechanisms work. The activity lets children select and position words to build silly – but thought-provoking! – sentences that serve as the springboard for innovation.
  • Process/Connect – TINKERTOY-inspired equipment lets children explore the concept of filtration, while a companion activity invites them to build ball tracks that illustrate how GE technologies help address the challenge of providing clean water. Finding the correct path through a graphic maze answers children’s curiosity about “Where does the water go?”
  • Develop – Visitors will enjoy filling a life-size human form with TINKERTOY hubs, providing a great photo opportunity and revealing the elements of a healthy lifestyle – and emptying the piece is fun, too! A special rotating TINKERTOY hub array inspires children to consider the impact of their personal choices, highlighting one of our most important responsibilities: taking care of ourselves so that we can do anything!
  • Create – This open play area reserved for children age 3 and older features a spectacular assortment of TINKERTOY pieces – the perfect place to build their imagination. Pictures of remarkable TINKERTOY creations and special tips provide guidance and inspiration.
  • The Tinker Tank – A walk-in size replica of a TINKERTOY canister is the starting point for the exhibit’s challenging scavenger hunt, a must for those with an eye for detail and a nose for knowledge! The Tinker Tank contains a variety of educational materials that attest to the impact of unconventional ideas on some of the world’s greatest – and strangest – inventions, and serve as a reminder that “If at first you don’t succeed…”

Admission to the exhibit is free. The exhibit is open at ImaginOn (300 E. 7thStreet, Charlotte) during building hours: Monday – Thursday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Friday – Saturday from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. (ImaginOn is closed on Sundays from Memorial Day to Labor Day for summer hours.) For more information about the exhibit, call 704-416-4600 or visit imaginon.org/tinkertoy .

ImaginOn is a one-of-a-kind youth destination located in Charlotte, NC, in the heart of the cultural arts district. This collaborative effort between the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library and Children’s Theatre of Charlotte is a 102,000-square-foot facility ranked by Livability.com as the No. 1 children’s library in the United States. The facility is visited by hundreds of thousands people annually and features two state-of-the-art theatres, a dedicated library space for kids 11 and under, four multi-use classrooms, a teen-only library and multimedia production studio and interactive exhibit space.

The TINKERTOY®: Build Your Imagination™ exhibit was developed by the Betty Brinn Children’s Museum in collaboration with PLAYSKOOL® and GE. TINKERTOY is a trademark of Hasbro, Inc. and is used with permission. © 2010 Hasbro. All Rights Reserved.

About Us

The Charlotte Mecklenburg Library is one of America’s leading urban public libraries, serving a community of more than one million citizens in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. Through 20 locations, targeted outreach and online, the Library delivers exceptional services and programs, with a mission to improve lives and build a stronger community. For more, visit cmlibrary.org.

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