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MOTAT to launch 'Machine Makers' this Saturday

Wednesday 18 December 2019


As parents ready themselves for the summer school holiday long haul, New Zealand’s Museum of Transport and Technology (MOTAT) is putting the final touches on their summer exhibition.

Their new interactive exhibition, Machine Makers, opens to the public this Saturday 21 December and will inspire families throughout the summer holidays and across the first term of 2020.

Machine Makers takes visitors on a hands-on journey through the six simple machines, the building blocks of all mechanical based engineering” explains Todd Dixon, MOTAT’s Exhibition Curator.

“We’ve got a human-sized hamster wheel, pulleys, Archimedes screws and slides. Families can lift, roll and race each other to really get a sense of how these machines are powered.”

Visitors to the exhibition will be wowed by the scale of each of the six machines, and yet the experience won’t stop there.

After pushing, pulling, sliding and twisting your way through each of the mechanics, visitors will then find themselves in the Machine Makers lab where they will be able to build their own machines.

Positioned amongst amazing and sometimes surprising objects from MOTAT’s extensive collection are work tables dressed in blueprints and posters reproduced from MOTAT’s archives of kiwi innovation and invention.

Visitors to MOTAT’s Machine Makers will also be able to study a Heidelberg printing press, a typewriter and a bomb disposal robot and will no doubt discover that these diverse machines are all made up of a simple machines.

To further set the scene and spark the imagination, a seven-metre long screen animation will help transport visitors into a high-tech machinery driven environment, complete with engineers, tools and robot helpers.

“Working on this summer’s exhibition has been an exciting project for all of us here at MOTAT” says Steven Fox, General Manager of Museum Experience.

“At MOTAT we see our role as fuelling imaginations to inspire New Zealand’s future innovators. We use our collection items and exhibitions to motivate curious minds to create and invent while also having fun. We can’t wait for our visitors to join in with Machine Makers and get started on their own mechanical marvels. This could be the start of something really big, who knows what amazing ideas might be uncovered!”


Machine Makers at MOTAT – from Saturday 21 December – April 2020.

Admission to the exhibition is included with General Admission PLUS additional school holiday activations, including the ‘Energize Holiday Programme’ and the MindLab at MOTAT school holiday workshops, will also be available throughout January 2020.

Apart from Christmas Day, MOTAT is open 7 days a week from 10am to 5pm throughout the Festive Season. Visit for full details.


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