Cardboard Construction Workshop with Caine Monroy

Thursday, July 27, 2017 • Noon–4:00 p.m.
South Gallery, Tinkering Studio

Included with museum admission.

All Ages

In 2011, filmmaker Nirvan Mullick stumbled upon 9-year-old Caine Monroy’s elaborate and inventive cardboard arcade in the back of Caine’s father’s used auto parts store in East Los Angeles. Nirvan’s short film about Monroy, Caine’s Arcade (2011, 11 min.), went viral, receiving over 1 million views worldwide within 24 hours of posting. Caine’s work inspired millions of young makers to play and build with cardboard and recycled materials. The film, part documentary and part surprise party is a complete celebration of cardboard craft, creativity, imagination, and ingenuity.

Join Caine Monroy and Nirvan Mullick as we celebrate the infinite versatility of cardboard. Make your own arcade game and marble machine, construct costumes, create life-sized stop-motion animations, play with automata puppets, and explore projects from the Exploratorium’s Tinkering Studio and Teacher Institute.

Arcade Games

Inspired by Caine’s Arcade, come and build a  playful cardboard arcade game. We’ll provide a variety of cardboard and other everyday materials so you can transform the materials into a marble run, pinball machine, grabbing claw, or anything that sparks your imagination. Then play the games that others have built in the arcade.

Marble Machines

We’ve redesigned the Marble Machine wall—a creative ball-run contraption designed to send a rolling marble through ramps, funnels, and a catch at the end—using cardboard. Use tubes, wooden balls, and tape to construct your path down the wall.


Make your own cardboard costumes. Snap a picture of your one-of-a-kind costume in our photo booth. Strike a pose and and share it. Now you’ve got a cool new profile picture.

Large-Scale Stop Motion Animation

Make a life-size stop motion animation with cardboard props starring you. With stop-motion animation techniques you can make objects (or yourself) appear, disappear, fly, and even teleport.

Parade of Puppets

Giant cardboard puppets will be roaming back and forth between the Kanbar Forum, Wildcard exhibtion and the South Gallery to lead you to and from different activities.

Caine Monroy is a lifelong maker and entrepreneur. At the age of 8, he created his arcade in the back of his father’s shop. Caine was the youngest entrepreneur to speak at the USC Marshall School of Business, received the Latino Spirit Award from the California State Assembly, and gave a TEDx talk in New York City hosted by Chelsea Clinton. Now 14 years old, Caine is finishing high school while continuing to inspire kids, parents, and educators around the world.

Nirvan Mullick is a Los Angeles–based filmmaker, speaker, and tinkerer. His short film Caine's Arcade became a viral phenomenon in 2012, a changed the life of one very creative 9-year-old boy. Following the film’s release, Nirvan founded to foster kids creativity worldwide.'s Global Cardboard Challenge has since engaged nearly 1 million kids in 80 countries with creative play and supports over 150 Imagination Chapters in 20 countries. Lego and Ashoka named a Champion of their Re-Imagine Learning Challenge. Nirvan speaks to educators worldwide, and continues to make films.