Experience what it’s like making artwork in a functioning workshop.

The Team at MAD have opened up their normally off-limits workshop to offer a construction activity to small groups.
Get behind the scenes at The MAD Museum and build your very own piece of automata in the same room machines and sculptures are fixed and assembled every day.

Please note workshops are an add-on service to a group visit, they are not provided as a standalone activity.








Duration 1 hour
Subject focus Design Technology, Engineering and Art
Appropriate for 7-11yrs
Places per session 8 places
Group supervising ratio 2:8
MAD Technicians per session Up to 2
Pre-booking required Yes
Cost £6 per kit


Dates and Bookings: These sessions run during term times and museum opening hours. Please get in touch for availability.    Email: click here    Tel: 01926 865 839

 What you make on the day: The Automata Kits

These pieces demonstrate how crank shafts work.

The kits have a wooden base and little handle which moves the wooden item on top. Each child will construct their own kit, putting the wooden pieces together with the end result being a painted hand cranked piece of automata with the design of their choice on.

These kits are challenging but still simple enough for everyone to construct themselves. The pieces are made to slot together easily in a snug fit so only a very small amount of glue is needed.

Children will choose which shape they would like at the top of their automata piece on the day and will take their made creation away with them after the visit.

A Typical Workshop Visit

 A group of around 15 pupils arrive at the museum. Half of the group explore the museum (1 hour) and the only half go straight into the workshop (1 hour). At the mid-way point of the trip, the split groups will switch over activities.
Explore the museum and understand design principals through hands-on learning. Aimed at children aged 7-11yrs (KS2). 


Workshop Plan

Children will be brought into the workshop and be asked to put on aprons (provided by MAD). A member of staff will explain what a crank shaft is, how it works and how it is used in today’s world.
Then each child will be given their automata kits to make and paint. Members of staff will be on hand to offer support throughout the session.

For Larger Groups

Please note the workshop is a small compact room, we cannot provide this activity for large groups. If you are interested, The MAD Museum can provide automata kits for groups to construct outside of the museum, in the classroom or at home. A free instruction manual will also be provided.
We do encourage a trip to the museum to support and inspire this automata building activity.


Find out more here            Get in touch

What Other Teachers Thought –

“Thank you for the brilliant day that I and the children had on Wednesday.
Our arrival was excellent. In the number of years that I have been teaching, I have never ever arrived at a place to find a team ready and waiting for the class. You immediately came across as knowledgeable, organised and professional and I know that, from a class teachers point of view, if you can show that a teacher can take a more supporting role and let the guys in the know get on with things then that is a huge weight off their mind.
The children loved the museum to the point that I had to calm a few of them down and adored the marble run wall. I couldn’t drag most of the boys away from it!

The workshops were absolutely brilliant; perfectly timed and really engaging. The children didn’t stop talking about them all the way home. I think the choice of making them a snug fit so glue is not needed was a really good idea. The children also learnt a lot about the different components.

I mentioned to the staff that it is really comforting to know that the area is secure so that the children can wander round without your having to know where they are all the time.
Thank you for an absolutely brilliant day. Both the children and adults loved it. Please pass on out thanks to the team and we shall make sure to visit again very soon.”
Mr Greygoose at Acorns Primary School.

“The pupils had a fantastic visit – they were very enthusiastic and also put together a display before going home!”
Kirstin at The Ogden Trust Partnership, Bidford-on-Avon Primary School.





Pre-booking only required 22nd - 31st October 2022. Not necessary any other time.