MAKESHOP is a space for hands-on building and tinkering with old and new technologies, exciting projects. and cutting-edge media. Do-it-yourself with electronics, sewing machines, and woodworking alongside some of the coolest indie crafters, hackers, and inventors in the city!
Here you can mess around with materials, tools and techniques, play around with ideas and make things together. You can investigate how things work, discover new materials and learn new techniques and skills.
MAKESHOP officially opened at Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh on October 22, 2011.
MAKESHOP in the World of Informal Learning
MAKESHOP was created through a unique partnership among Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University’s Entertainment Technology Center (ETC) and the University of Pittsburgh Center for Learning in Out-of-School Environments (UPCLOSE). It is a space within the Museum dedicated to nurturing and furthering informal learning opportunities and research-based understanding at the intersection of the digital and the physical. MAKESHOP pushes the envelope of informal learning through the integration of old and new technologies into DIY, project-based activities in a hands-on workshop environment.
Nationally, MAKESHOP is linked with other maker spaces that are exploring and evaluating the impact of making on learning for early and middle childhood. Examples include The Tinkering Studio at the Exploratorium in San Francisco, CA, and the New York Hall of Science in Queens, NY.
Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh has focused on children’s ability to make, play and learn with real stuff, such as wood, silkscreens, handmade paper, vehicles, water. and gravity, since its 2004 expansion. It is an award-winning space which welcomes almost 250,000 visitors annually and was named one of the 10 best children’s museums in the nation by Parents magazine in 2011.
The Entertainment Technology Center at Carnegie Mellon University is the premiere professional graduate program for interactive entertainment as it is applied across a variety of fields. For the ETC, the MakeShop serves as a place for applied research and graduate projects serving youth by providing effective educational and experience design. Prototyping with the visitors in the MakeShop, ETC seeks to discover and define best practices and design and develop experiences that educate, engage and inspire.
UPCLOSE, based at the Learning Research Development Center, has a six-year partnership with the Children’s Museum to help bring effective learning experiences to the Museum floor. An academic home for informal learning, UPCLOSE explores what it means to learn science, technology, and art in informal settings. We tinker with innovative designs to support informal learning. We document how museums and community organizations learn and change. And we bring research and practice together through collaboration and field-building initiatives. At the Museum, we provide a critical and objective research and evaluation lens on the Museum’s in-house exhibit and program design process.