Inventions of Da Vinci at GWIZ

The Inventions of Da Vinci exhibit runs from April 13- September 7, 2009.

What it’s about: “Leonardo’s scientific and technical drawings have captured the imagination for centuries. This exhibition focuses on 16 drawings, through reproducing Leonardo’s drawings on graphic panels and also realizing the idea in model form. Originally developed by the IBM Corporation, this interpretive exhibition encourages visitors to explore these concepts, in many cases through hands-on experiences with working models.”

I took the boys to see this exhibit with another homeschool family.  It was well recieved by all 4 middle-schoolers.  Most of the exhibit is hands-on; you can touch the inventions and make them move.  Some, though, are not because they are more intricate and thus fragile.  Some were hanging. 

Each part of the exhibit there was a written explanation.  The boys took turns reading descriptions of the drawings before touching and moving the models of each invention.  There were flying machines, water pump machines, wheeled inventions, a printing press, a military tank.

There were two conclusions we all agreed on, other than it was a great exhibit.  The first was that  Leonardo was not just an inventor but an improver of things in his world, as well.  Some things may have already existed.  He was the one to put these inventions on paper for us all to see.   Secondly, as Ben Franklin was a great inventor of his time, Leonardo DaVinci was a great inventor of his.  You could pick out different periods of history where one great person did a lot to improve their world but we chose to compare DaVinci to Franklin.   As a result, the boys will be doing a side-by-side comparison/listing of each man’s great accomplishments; what they invented and what they improved on.  Half the job is done for my boys because one had used Leonardo for his Science and History Fair project this year.

Please support GWIZ and this terrific exhibit.  Be sure to pick up the Gallery Guide.