Teen Read Week or Read Across America Contest Idea. Have students create diorama for favorite book.
The Year 9 Mechanical Toys section on this site has some really great explanations, photos, and videos about automata.
Inspiration for cardboard automata (what we made at the Tinkering Studio)
Reciprocating Mechanism Simple
The Automata Blog
The Automata Blog: Article on how to make a simple ratchet mechanism out of wood
Automata: list of top-rated books, introduction to basic mechanisms, and downloadable templates.
Automata - my favorite toys
How to design and make automata
"Submarine" automaton by Keith Newstead