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Goodbye MAKESHOP

After eight years of working at the Museum I am finally moving on to teach at a local school in Pittsburgh. The video above does a good job of demonstrating my experience at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh. I spent a lot of time having fun, trying new things and meeting new people (and sitting on the floor). I have been around since before MAKESHOP started. From it’s humble beginnings in the Garage ex
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Magnets and Circuits Blocks Combine To Form…

Circuit blocks are a very popular part of MAKESHOP. But there has been a single pressing problem within our design that has plagued teaching artists for the past several years. We use alligator clips to connect our blocks together and the problem with these is that our younger visitors have trouble manipulating these clips. It is quite the strain on their fine motor skill capabilities to open and close the clips.  Th
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MAKESHOP through the eyes of a four year old

Soren is four years old and he visits MAKESHOP on a weekly basis. He is really interested in exploring everything that MAKESHOP has to offer. A couple of weeks ago Cori, a member of the Museum’s New Media Department, was testing out a new camera in MAKESHOP. As with everything, Soren was really interested in exploring the camera. The camera was built pretty tough and didn’t have to many buttons or options
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Chain Reactions: Prompting the Unexpected

We have been exploring chain reactions at the Museum for years.  Building tracks and paths for balls to roll on is a fun activity that teaches persistence, prototyping and teamwork.  Recently I taught two separate classes centered around chain reactions.  One was with a group of second graders from the Ellis School.  Their science teacher wanted to expand upon her students’ learning with a trip to MAKESHOP. The
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Unfinished Projects

Recently Paul, a former educator at the Museum, came back to visit for a day. Paul moved to Boston right before MAKESHOP officially opened. He was around for the prototyping of MAKESHOP and was pivotal in its inception several years ago. At some point during his time at the Museum Paul started working on a DIY guitar. While he was visiting with me a couple of weeks ago the two of us discovered the guitar in our basem
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Gabe and the Dragon

Throughout the winter months we have been doing a lot of medieval themed programming in MAKESHOP.  We made capes and crowns and castles.  The one thing we were missing was a dragon.  So one morning I decided that I was going to make one out of cardboard.  I was just about finished with the head and neck of the dragon when a teenager named Gabe stepped into the workshop.  I invited him to help me work on the dragon.  
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