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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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Teaching Teachers About Scratch Jr.

A couple of weeks ago I was given the chance to teach a group of Pre-K teachers about Scratch Jr.  You can learn more about Scratch Jr. from a previous post by Molly here.  This was one of the most fun professional developments that I ever taught.  The plan was to introduce the teachers to a couple of creative programs that could be used in their classrooms.  Scratch Jr. took center stage.  The program is really intu
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A Case of the PTA

[Ed note: This is Kevin’s experience on the  Avonworth PTA visit, which Scott Miller recently wrote a guest post about!] Usually when we teach workshops in MAKESHOP they are for students or groups of teachers. For this particular workshop I got the chance to teach a slightly different audience. Members of the Avonworth School District PTA wanted to have a “making” experience in MAKESHOP. We let them
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How to control the game?

I was given the opportunity to work with an after school class at the Environmental Charter School in Pittsburgh a couple of weeks ago. The teachers wanted the kids to explore circuits and prototyping along with something digital. A great way to explore all of those things at once is to create a physical circuit that lets you interact with a digital computer program. We use a tool called a MaKey MaKey to allow the st
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Art Conference + Sewing = ???

In September, Pittsburgh hosted the Arts and Education Partnership National Forum (AEPF). Our executive director, Jane Werner, was asked to speak at the Forum and we were asked to have an accompanying table with a small taste of what goes on in MAKESHOP. We brought along a lot of example projects, wooden joinery blocks, circuit blocks, soldering tools, etc. We also brought along a lot of sewing materials. The plan wa
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No Nails Required

I was helping out at the Millvale Community Library last school through our Mobile MAKESHOP initiative. During one of my “Maker Thursdays” I was introduced to a really simple woodworking project by two boys who regularly visited the library. They called the game “penny hockey” and explained that they had built the game during their Tech-Ed class at school. The board is comprised of two holes a
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