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Maker Education Initiative

Are you 18-22 years old and interested in maker culture? Do you know a young adult who loves to tinker and enjoys working with children? We’re excited to announce a great new opportunity for this summer! MAKESHOP at Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh is partnering with the Maker Education Initiative, a program linked to MAKE Magazine, to launch the Maker Corps program this spring. This program will address the nee
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Teenagers and Shopbots

The Museum sees a lot of visitors every week.  Most of them are under five years old, but every week during the school year, a group of 6-8th grade students visit the Museum for our after-school program, YouthALIVE! These students visit MAKESHOP about once a month. We try to give them design challenges to help them to be creative and persistent.  A few weeks ago, we decided to introduce them to circuits and then give
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A family’s prototype

Here is a quick story about an amazing pair of makers that spent an entire Saturday working on a single idea, which was “What can you do with a mousetrap?” When I joined this father and son team, they were already under production with their creation: a mousetrap car.  Apparently the dad saw that we had a couple of mousetraps in a jar on a shelf and his son remembered something that he saw that involved a
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Kai’s Invention

Kai is a regular visitor of the Museum.  He is the kind of visitor who really enjoys tinkering with anything and everything.  On this particular day, we were experimenting with making light-up cards using copper tape and LEDs.  Kai was very interested in exploring what could be done with the copper tape and a piece of paper.  He already had some knowledge of circuitry, so he was able to understand the idea of connect
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Inside the Sewing Machine

Over the winter holidays, we did a lot of take-apart here at the museum. Tons of old audio equipment, toys, printers… and a sewing machine! I had a great team of four kids helping me get that stubborn front off. It really didn’t want to go! We recently replaced this machine with a newer one, and thought we’d keep the old one around to help explain what’s happening on the inside. You can move y
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Glowing Bots!

Every month we have a theme that helps us to decide on new activities for MAKESHOP.  We spent the month of December making projects and exploring materials that GLOW.  We had glow-in-the-dark fabric, UV LEDs, lots of holiday lights, light painting, and some glow-in-the-dark paint.  I had the brilliant idea to combine some of the GLOW activities with a ShopBot (what we call basically anything with a motor attached to
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