etch120Have you ever wondered how twisting the knobs on an Etch A Sketch® creates a picture? Or how those hungry hippos gobble up marbles with the touch of a switch? If so, then you'll love Toys: The Inside Story, opening January 7 at the Sciencenter.

With different hands-on stations highlighting the five toy components – pulleys, cams, gears, linkages, and circuits - Toys offers hours of exploration for guests of all ages. Experiment with simple and complex pulley systems while trying to draw a picture using a giant Etch A Sketch®, then peek inside the toy to see how it all works! Operate a Hungry Hippo® to see out how linkages create complex movements. Discover what happens when a circuit closes with an inside look at the game Operation®, and take the circuit challenge to try to keep a circuit open as you move a ring along a twisty rod.

Using all of these different components, guests can then create their own toy-like combinations. Set various objects in motion while experimenting with different sizes of gears and see which combination makes the ballerina spin the fastest. Connect moveable pulleys in endless combinations and discover which arrangement allows for the wildest optical illusion. And find out how linkages and cams work together to make Mr. Machine® march.

Toys: The Inside Story opens to the public this weekend, Saturday, January 7, 10 am – 5 pm, and Sunday, January 8, 12 pm – 5 pm. This exhibition was developed by the Montshire Museum of Science in Norwich, Vermont, with funding from the National Science Foundation through the TEAMS collaborative.