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A Practical Laser Cutter Project

I had the opportunity to use our laser cutter to create something practical for a change. We usually use our laser cutter to experiment with visitors and demonstrate the use of a laser to cut or etch different materials. I was asked to create this project for Tula Organic Salon and Spa. They wanted to laser cut a stencil so that they could paint a bathroom sign for their shop. I suggested that we could use the laser
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The Importance of Prompts

MAKESHOP is not just for kids, adults are allowed to have fun too.  Every year the Museum hosts an event for the Katz School of Business at the University of Pittsburgh.  There has always been some kind of building challenge during this event.  This year we prompted the groups to build bridges out of recycled materials.  The bridges did not have to hold a certain weight or be a certain length.  Instead, they were mea
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A Miniature MAKESHOP

We recently explored scale and perspective as a theme in MAKESHOP.  One of our activities was to create a tiny version of the MAKESHOP exhibit.  I built a small diorama of the room and then let other educators and visitors add to the space.  There are some very recognizable objects in MAKESHOP.  It was a real challenge building tiny, tiny versions of those objects out of random recycled materials. Little red chair wi
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A Month of Tape

The month of September was full of tape. Our newest exhibit, TapeScape was under construction. The structure is made out of a lot of packing tape. You’d be surprised how sturdy the material actually is. It was able to support several grown exhibit technicians at one time. The exhibit is part climbing structure, part art piece. It is a sight to see. MAKESHOP got into the spirit of tape during this month as well.
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Melt the Night Away

We hosted yet another Adult MAKEnight this October.  We offered hand sewing and machine sewing as an activity along with circuit blocks and stop-motion animation.  We prompted our patrons to make something for Halloween, but of course everyone was free to make whatever they wanted.  The Art Studio also provided a bunch of activities, including silk screening with glow in the dark ink.  The silk screens were done on f
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Maker BBQ

I get to do a lot of fun things for the Museum. I recently got the chance to attend a Maker BBQ hosted by Hive Pittsburgh which is part of the Kids + Creativity Network. I spent a night at Pittsburgh’s Tech Shop hanging out with a bunch of teenagers. Everyone involved was teaching or demonstrating something digital: 3D modeling, programming etc.  I decided to bring along some computers and let kids play with SC
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