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Field Trip: Avonworth Elementary

Recently our Maker Corps Members and I visited Avonworth Elementary to hang out with some second and third graders and their teachers.  We presented them with a design challenge.  We put the kids into four groups and challenged them with the task of creating a structure out of recycled materials and tape that could support a certain amount of weight. Our weights spanned from one pound (a can of bolts) to two hundred
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Field Trip: Shaler Elementary

Nick (one of our Maker Corps Members) and I got to spend a couple of hours at Shaler Elementary solving a lot of woodworking problems alongside amazing and diligent students.  The kids got the chance to experience all of the tools we had brought, along with safe techniques to use them properly.  After a lengthy orientation with the tools and processes, the kids were given the freedom to create whatever their hearts d
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Field Trip: Robinson Township Library

Derek and I had the privilege of using the Robinson Township Library’s extremely large activity space to teach woodworking.  We taught visitors how to use hammers, hand drills, saws, sand paper and screwdrivers. We planned to have the families experience and learn about the tools.  Some of the families asked if they could create something (a sculpture or a structure) using the tools and wood.  We would never st
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Another Youth MAKE Night…

We held another Youth MakeNight for some of our teenage visitors a couple of weeks ago.  These events are so much fun.  As staff, we get to interact with an older demographic of children, and the group of teenagers get to visit the Museum without their parents. We offered several different activities for the kids (sewing, pinball, circuits, etc.) and as usual, the kids created some activities of their own…Like
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Lets Go Bucs!

I really like baseball; since I moved to Pittsburgh I finally found a team to root for…The Pittsburgh Pirates.  I was extremely ecstatic to hear that the Museum had partnered with the Bucs this summer to do some special programming.  Included in this programming is our open-sourced pinball machine (built by Christian and modified by the rest of the staff). With a little help from everyone in MAKESHOP and a lot
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Pterodactyls, Superheroes and Light Houses…

Sometimes we end up with a theme within a theme in MAKESHOP.  In this case, our theme was “MAKESBURGH” (our community created cardboard city).  Within that theme emerged some other strange trends.  For some reason, the skies of MAKESBURGH became plagued with pterodactyls.  One young, imaginative visitor came up with an entire superhero to help keep MAKESBURGH safe.   CAT CREATURE!…who defends t
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