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Made by Visitors

Indian Scouts and shopbots

I had the opportunity to teach a Saturday workshop about electricity to a group of Indian Scouts.  The group consisted of fifteen kindergartners and fifteen dads.  I’m not sure who had more fun… me, the kids, or the dads. I think the dads did.  I gave the group the challenge to use some motors and batteries to make something… anything.  As usual, there was no right or wrong.  My only instruction was
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Interactive Fiction

We’ve been running a series of Sunday afternoon demonstrations of computer programming using Inform 7, which is a programming language for creating stories that you can play like a game.  Visitors learned about using nouns and verbs to navigate story  games, then about how to write code to make their very own story worlds.  We used an online version of Inform 7 called Playfic, which allows you to write and play
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Youth invade MAKESHOP

On February 22nd, we held our second Youth Maker Night.  This was an after-hours event with a lot of tweens and teens, and no parents.  We offered some new activities for the youth to try, including felting, recycled derby cars, e-textiles, tinkering with motors, and a demonstration of a 3D printer.  It took the kids awhile to ease into the activities. They had the freedom to choose whatever activity they wanted.  So
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Sharks in MAKESHOP

I’ve noticed an interesting theme in the past few stop-motion animations made in MAKESHOP.  Apparently, a couple of the paper shadow puppets from our programming in the month of February have made there way over to the animation station.  There is a cut out of a shark with a movable mouth that has become the star of our stop-motion animations.  The supporting cast seems to stay the same as well.  Below are seve
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MAKESHOP Panoramas

Last April, MAKESHOP was photographed by a robot. A robot named GigaPan, which uses motors and gears to move the camera and press the shutter button. After all these zoomed-in, super-detailed photos are taken, a special program “stitches” them together so it looks like one long photo that is bigger, longer and more detailed than a regular camera is able to see at one time. These long photos are called 
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Make something that rolls

The Museum’s YouthALIVE program visits MAKESHOP once a month.  YouthALIVE is an after-school program of Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh.  The group is made up of middle school students from a school across the street.  Lately, we’ve been giving the students a challenge to complete.  This week, we asked them to create something that rolls.  The students had three days to complete the challenge. We pr
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