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Inspiration

What Are Your Favorite Books That Inspire Making?

I love to read. Before I could read by myself, my mom read stories to me a lot. Some stories were my favorite because of the pictures, while others were my favorite because they let me imagine things I had never seen or heard before, and I liked using my imagination. Books can be good tools to give people good ideas. Since we’re always looking for good ideas in MAKESHOP, we started doing a Maker Story Time. My
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Skill Thrill: Multiple LEDs

I know, I know.  If there was a making version of Portlandia (MAKElandia?) it would include a skit called ‘Put an LED on it!’ because what better way make it jazzy than to make it light up?  I get the allure – building a circuit that works is fun and satisfying, and there is a certain swagger that comes with the control of turning components on and off at your whim.  So putting LEDs on projects is a
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Why Make? To Inspire Creative Learners

It’s now the beginning of September and most schools are back in session. In honor of the new school year, I wanted to start sharing some videos we shot last summer with Pittsburgh-area educators. What does it mean to be a maker? Why make in schools? Why make at all? In this first short video, a middle school teacher, university professor, community educator and curriculum coordinator each present some of the c
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Things in the Laser Cutter

I love our laser cutter. It’s a machine that uses a power beam of energy to burn through things. How cool is that?! The only thing I love more than the laser cutter (sorry, loom, you’ve been temporarily replaced) is putting odd things into the laser cutter. Cookies Nilla Wafers work really nicely, because the burned design shows up well against the light-colored cookie. Wood (Painted) Wood isn’t a v
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Our Circuit Blocks

The circuit blocks in MAKESHOP are easily one of my most favorite things in our Museum. They might not be the prettiest things in the Museum but they do have a certain charm to them. “Circuit blocks are a set of components, switches and powers sources mounted on wood that can be connected together with electrical wires. They are used to allow children and adults the chance to explore electricity through trial,
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Bay Area Maker Faire

In May I presented on two panels at the Association of Children’s Museums conference (about making with young children, as well as a panel that was an introduction to the concept of makerspaces in museums) and then immediately scooted up the coast to Bay Area Maker Faire in San Mateo, California. I also spoke very briefly there, but the best part was definitely walking around and taking in all the sights. We
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