Toys: The Inside Story

Peek inside some popular toys! Explore linkages, cams, pulleys and circuits. Steady your hands and win at Operation®! Activate different electrical circuits. Discover what makes Jack jump. Crank gears and make toys spin! Find out which mechanisms make toys move, and how!

  • Developed by Montshire Museum of Science
  • Funded by NSF through the TEAMS Collaborative
  • Designed for a family audience
  • Flexible layout, easy moving and installation
  • Minimal storage required
  • Size: 1,800 – 2,500 sq. ft.
  • Rental Fee: $26,000 for 3-1/2+ months
  • Shipping: 1 truck

  • Find out what makes toys move by exploring the mechanisms inside them: gears, wires, cams circuits, switches, linkages and pulleys.
  • You can activate a circuit and play a giant game of Operation®.
  • You can create your own toy-like combinations of gears, pulleys, linkages, cams and circuits.
  • Learn now to turn a simple motion into one that is more complex.
  • See how when gears mesh, if you turn one gear, the others turn.
  • Find out how an industrial size gear can change the speed of a rotating shaft.
  • Discover how a worm gear and a cam mechanism work together inside a Jack-in-the-Box.

Toys: The Inside Story
Fall 2023: Available
Spring 2024: Available
Summer 2024: Available
Fall 2024: Available
Spring 2025: Available
Summer 2025: Available


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Sciencenter 601 1st Street Ithaca, NY 14850
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Museum & Store Hours

  • Tuesday, 10 am - 5 pm
  • Wednesday, 10 am - 5 pm
  • Thursday, 10 am - 5 pm
  • Friday, 10 am - 5 pm
  • Saturday, 10 am - 5 pm
  • Sunday, 10 am - 5 pm

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