Behind the scenes… the making of the Moorrees Formboard

By Jaanika Reinvald.

Creating our interactive activities is no easy task! Getting ready for the event in the York Explore Library took no less than an entire weekend, or 16 straight hours, of preparation by a crew of volunteers. We did not have an original Moorrees Formboard and had only ever seen a picture of it, so it was time to sit down, take out a pen, a ruler, a nice piece of MDF and put our engineering skills to the test.

Volunteer engineer concentrating while board making

Dave, our volunteer engineer busy concentrating while measuring board details

Once the measuring was done and had been admired by the team, it was time to don the safety goggles and masks to cut the MDF with a saw. The outcome was even better than expected and after a bit of sanding, every detail fitted in perfectly.


Once the freshly-made board was scrutinised and compared with the original, we could move on to the next stage and start colour-coding the different blocks. This was not done so that the task would be easy, rather to study the partipant’s logical reasoning as they ordered the shapes in three minutes!


The joy of having excelled at crafting the board was evident on Dave’s face

To paint the formboard, professional crafts people volunteered to help and get the best possible result. As it happened, everybody wanted to go the warm Christmassy red and as a result we ended up with three different reds, light, medium and dark, and an additional orange shape.

Everybody had a shape and a colour to paint it in.

Everybody had a shape and a colour to paint it in.

And eventually, after hours of gruelling work  it was time to put the board to the test and see if our crafty volunteers were just as good in doing the Moorrees Formboard test as they were in making the board itself.

Trying out the quality of the board

Trying out the quality of the board