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Chair + Lights = ?

The month of December is over and our GLOW theme is done, but that doesn’t mean that we are not still trying to add lights to anything and everything in MAKESHOP.  After spending an entire month playing with lights and creating all kinds of switches, I decided that it would be really cool to make a chair that lights up when you sit on it. I started working on a really rough prototype that used some LED lights,
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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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