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Prototyping an Exhibit within an Exhibit

Testing It Out We are currently prototyping some new ideas for our newest exhibit, “Wheels”. One of the components of the exhibit involves magnetic pieces that can be put together to build your own car.  Visitors can test their cars on a mini skate park inspired track.  The magnetic parts are very versatile and fun to tinker with.  I had fun just rolling the wheels around. Phase One We wanted to know how
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Introducing…The Hana-Occupier

I love the experiences with visitors who spend a worthwhile time in the MAKESHOP and get everyone thinking about what can be made with a few simple materials and some teamwork.  My most experience was with Arthur and his dad, Andrew, and their creation the “Hana-Occupier.” We’ve been collaborating with visitors to create their own circuit blocks and AA battery packs.  We provide visitors with lights
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Learning What It Takes

Last weekend the MAKESHOP was visited by Chris Bandy, a wooden toy maker.  Visitors were able to learn what it means to be a woodshop apprentice.  While I was in the MAKESHOP,  Chris and the visitors were busy working on wooden “tic, tac, toe” boards.  There were various steps in the process that visitors could help with.  There was sanding and finishing that needed to be done, wooden inlay that needed to
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Prototyping Animation in the MakeShop

We have been discussing the idea of introducing animation or video into the MakeShop.  Stop-motion animation is always fun, but how do we implement it so that visitors can easily use it and interact with it in meaningful ways?  Well, we brainstorm and prototype. We already had a very crude stop-motion program developed by Greg W. of the Exhibits Department.  This program is controlled by an even more crude looking ph
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A little structure and a lot of creativity

ShopBots are not entirely new for the Makeshop, but I still enjoy the project.  I have done this project in many different ways: by myself, with a group of teachers, and with several classes.  The one thing that I have never done is facilitated this project with visitors during a regular day at the Museum.  Well, last week, we decided to do just that. We had the materials available and decided to let our visitors fin
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A simple story

The picture above is worth a thousand words.  This group of visitors was a lot of fun to play with.  They came into the MakeShop  as we were setting up for an after school group.  We had the entire shop set up for sewing.  This group came in and immediately set about exploring everything we had to offer.  They explored both as individuals and as a group.  The younger ones were fascinated with the sewing machines and
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