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College Trip

I recently had the opportunity to teach two workshops at an event for girls interested in science hosted at Robert Morris University. As usual I gave the kids minimal instruction and then allowed them a large amount of time to explore the materials and components. They were given the chance to make something — anything — out of recycled materials, motors and batteries. This group of girls really took this
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Maker Educator Boot Camp at West Liberty

On June 23-26th we held our second Maker Educator Boot Camp, and our first in West Virginia! All through this past school year Kevin has spent many of his Tuesdays driving down to work with WLU to help build out and facilitate their makerspace. As part of this partnership they were kind enough to host us for three days of educator professional development with workshops, discussion, reflection and making. On the four
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MAKESHOP in the park

It is summer and that means that we are able to move some of our MAKESHOP activities outside. Last year we had a bike-cart that some of the staff would take out to the local parks to do small activities with the community. This year we got the opportunity to provide an outdoor activity for a weekend event Buhl Park in front of the Museum. I recently discovered a water rocket launching kit in our basement storage. We
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Dovetails are a traditional way to attach two pieces of wood without the need for fasteners like nails or screws. Below, John Bullar of the UK presents a short video where he cuts dovetail joints using hand tools. As a professional custom furniture builder, his skill makes the process look very easy. The tools, however, are simple and easily available. A chisel, mallet, and saw are all that are required. A great tric
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Too Many Shoes?

I’ve always said that solving problems is one of the most important parts of being a maker. It is a lot of fun to solve a problem by making something. That is essentially how an inventor thinks. If you are tired of sitting on the ground then why not build a chair? If you your chair isn’t comfortable then you can always sew a cushion. My problem was too many shoes in my closet at home. I could have easily
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Finishing MAKESHOP’s quilt

In February, we began working on a collaborative quilt in MAKESHOP. I wrote about it almost two months ago here. Here’s our update: it’s finished! It has been a true labor of love shared by so many people and an amazing learning experience. I wanted to share some updated photos of the process and getting it hung on the wall. We began by cutting 5×5 inch squares out of scrap fabric. We provided fabric
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