Art Machines

Location: Museum of Making

Duration: 90 mins

Key Stage 2 STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths) Learning

Learners explore the significance of making in human history, from the ancient creation of flint hand axes, to the diverse range of innovative machines used for making today. They will also delve into the creative ways in which these have been designed and then innovatively repurposed to produce and create art. Inspired by a wide-range of objects in our museum collection, learners will explore the variation in scale and function of machines, before making and testing some art machines for themselves.

Knowledge and understanding is developed around the evolution of tools and machines, the interdisciplinary use of technology in producing art, and the science behind art machines (i.e. pendulums and art-bots). Appreciation for the significance of making in human history is developed through exploration of collections objects, from ancient tools to the diverse range of innovative machines used today. Key STEAM skills including making, collaboration, creativity & problem-solving are also developed through hands-on and enquiry-based art machine making activities.

National Curriculum Links Include:

  • Art & Design – e.g. ‘Pupils should know about great artists, craft makers and designers, and understand the historical and cultural development of their art forms.’
  • Design & Technology – e.g. ‘Pupils should understand how key events and individuals in design and technology have helped shape the world.’
  • Science – e.g. ‘scientific enquiry […and…] forces: Pupils should be able to explain that unsupported objects fall towards the Earth because of the force of gravity acting between the Earth and the falling object… and … identify the effects of air resistance and friction, that act between moving surfaces’
  • History – e.g. ‘Pupils should know and understand significant aspects of the history of the wider world: the nature of ancient civilisations [i.e. ancient creation and use of hand tools].’
  • English Language – e.g. ‘It is particularly important to induct pupils into the language which defines each subject in its own right, such as accurate mathematical and scientific language [i.e. ‘tools’, ‘machines’, ‘pendulum’, ‘hypothesis’].’