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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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C.H.I.C.K.E.N.

What do you say when someone says that they want to make an egg-laying robotic chicken? In MAKESHOP we would typically answer that question by first searching through our recycled materials to find just the right thing to make a chicken. Apparently an empty milk carton makes a great chicken shape. The plastic eggs were from a donation of materials brought in by a regular visitor to the Museum. If I had to guess I wou
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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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Methods of Attachment

Attachment is something that we explore all the time in MAKESHOP, from sewing to woodworking to taping things together. We have had a set of building blocks in our space for some time now. These blocks were designed and built by our Museum Exhibits team. They are mostly made out of wood (there is also an aluminum block, a 3D-printed block, an acrylic block and some squishy foam blocks) and can be attached together us
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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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August Activities

August is coming soon and we have tons of great activities planned!   August 1: Youth Maker Night, including Life Casting with Guest Maker Anya August 2: Maker Party at Society for Contemporary Craft with Kevin August 4-8: SKYWORLD recycled materials collaborative creation August 9: Wind Tunnels with Ethan August 10: Back-to-School Lunch Bag Sewing Workshop for ages 8+ August 16: Stop Motion Puppetry Workshop wi
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