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Making Problems and Solving Problems

Usually it is the teacher who provides the problems for the students to solve. At the Museum and especially in MAKESHOP we like to give teachers an opportunity create some problems for themselves. Teacher trainings might be my favorite thing to do in MAKESHOP. Being a teacher myself I see the benefits to these kinds of professional development opportunities. Having a group of teachers learn how to do something with l
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Dissecting an Exhibit

Sometimes we are asked to help better explain how different exhibits in the Museum work.  Recently the exhibit piece in question was Wooden Mirror by Daniel Rozin, located in a nook between our Garage exhibit and the Changing Exhibits Gallery. This interactive art piece is a lot of fun – it’s made up of a lot of different parts that work together to create an image of whatever is in front of it. We probab
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Remaking an Image: Digital Photography with YouthALIVE!

Every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, about a dozen local middle school students head to MAKESHOP, where they’re greeted with a bowl of apples, oranges, and bananas. School is over for the day, and the students eagerly grab a piece of fruit to recharge before settling in to an hour-long YouthALIVE! (that is, Youth Achievement through Learning Involvement, Volunteering and Employment!) session. Since I joined the MA
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MAKESHOP + Penny Arcade: An Improvisational Collaboration

im·pro·vise verb : to speak or perform without preparation : to make or create (something) by using whatever is available (Merriam-Webster) Here at MAKESHOP, we make things up every day. Often, we create cool things without a lot of planning, and we limit ourselves to the resources around us (which is why we do so many projects with old fabric and toilet paper rolls). Doing things this way lets us try lots of differe
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Turning Problems Into Solutions: Frick Environmental Charter School Collaboration

Have you ever wanted to make something work better? The first graders at Frick Environmental Charter School did; from December to February, they identified problems in their classrooms and worked to invent solutions for those problems. MAKESHOP Teaching Artists worked with the first graders throughout their process via FaceTime chats, in-class sessions, and a field trip that brought the students into our workshop. In
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Ramps!

Every once and a while we decide to totally transform MAKESHOP to meet the needs of a specific activity. For the past couple of months we had been brainstorming some way to play around with ramps and “Rube Goldberg Machines” in our space. Around the end of December we were given a donation of hundreds of cardboard tubes. We took this as a sign that we should come up with some kind of ramp activity soon. O
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