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Youth Events & Workshops

Chain Reactions: Prompting the Unexpected

We have been exploring chain reactions at the Museum for years.  Building tracks and paths for balls to roll on is a fun activity that teaches persistence, prototyping and teamwork.  Recently I taught two separate classes centered around chain reactions.  One was with a group of second graders from the Ellis School.  Their science teacher wanted to expand upon her students’ learning with a trip to MAKESHOP. The
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Gabe and the Dragon

Throughout the winter months we have been doing a lot of medieval themed programming in MAKESHOP.  We made capes and crowns and castles.  The one thing we were missing was a dragon.  So one morning I decided that I was going to make one out of cardboard.  I was just about finished with the head and neck of the dragon when a teenager named Gabe stepped into the workshop.  I invited him to help me work on the dragon.  
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Kids work on a post-it note based board game design

Game Design Workshop

On March 15th, as part of the 4th annual National STEM Video Game Challenge (presented by the Smithsonian in partnership with The Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop and E-Line Media), 16 kids showed up in the museum theater to spend a few hours learning about game design. Beginning with some discussion and sharing about what makes a good designer and what games everybody enjoys, participants then went through
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How to control the game?

I was given the opportunity to work with an after school class at the Environmental Charter School in Pittsburgh a couple of weeks ago. The teachers wanted the kids to explore circuits and prototyping along with something digital. A great way to explore all of those things at once is to create a physical circuit that lets you interact with a digital computer program. We use a tool called a MaKey MaKey to allow the st
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Wax being spread on a Youth Maker's hands.

Youth Make Night Guest Maker: Anya Weitzman

Sometimes we’re lucky enough to have special guest makers come to share cool processes with us for our Youth Make nights, which are exclusively for older kids (10+). For our August edition of Youth Make, Anya Weitzman showed us how to make replica body parts out of chocolate through a process called life casting. A cast is a product of pouring something liquid into a mold, which is an empty space that makes a s
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A boy sits with his recycled materials project in a large room

Camp MAKESHOP: In Summary

And so Camp MAKESHOP came to an end. At the end of the week we asked the kids to fill out a survey. They asked for less time for lunch and more time for making. More projects, more days, more woodworking, more 3D printing – and a couple along the lines of the very flattering, “I don’t think it can be improved.”   “I really liked this camp I met some really nice kids and grownups i hope this camp goes on fo
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