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Afterschool Programs

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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Three Club Makers pose with the tutus they made.

Club Make

This year, YouthALIVE!, our after school program for middle school students, got a new name: Club Make. Students who participate in Club Make come to the MAKESHOP after school three days a week to work on projects with the help of mentors. During the first week of Club Make, the Club Makers wanted to make tutus—so we made it happen! We already had lots of fabric that worked well for tutus. One kind of fabric is calle
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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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Maker Faire Detroit 2014

During the last weekend in July, six students (three from the Children’s Museum’s YouthALIVE! afterschool program and three from Assemble‘s Make It! after school program) boarded a train leaving Pittsburgh for Toledo, Ohio. Their final destination? Maker Faire Detroit, located at The Henry Ford museum in Dearborn, Michigan. Maker Faires take place all over the world, and some consider them to be 
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Remaking an Image: Digital Photography with YouthALIVE!

Every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, about a dozen local middle school students head to MAKESHOP, where they’re greeted with a bowl of apples, oranges, and bananas. School is over for the day, and the students eagerly grab a piece of fruit to recharge before settling in to an hour-long YouthALIVE! (that is, Youth Achievement through Learning Involvement, Volunteering and Employment!) session. Since I joined the MA
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YouthALIVE and Scratch

YouthALIVE is an afterschool club for middle schoolers that takes place at the Museum. A few weeks ago, we encouraged the students to do some simple digital programming projects.  The students explored with 3D printing, our EggBot, and Scratch. Scratch (you can access their website here) is an amazing program developed by MIT.  Scratch is a a great way for children to explore simple computer programming.  The interfa
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