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Made by MAKESHOP

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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No Nails Required

I was helping out at the Millvale Community Library last school through our Mobile MAKESHOP initiative. During one of my “Maker Thursdays” I was introduced to a really simple woodworking project by two boys who regularly visited the library. They called the game “penny hockey” and explained that they had built the game during their Tech-Ed class at school. The board is comprised of two holes a
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How To Make a Circuit Block: Binder Clip Toggle Switch

In my previous blog post on making circuit blocks I showed you how to construct a power source block and a light block. Another integral part of exploring circuitry is exploring switches. A switch can be used to turn components on or off, and in some cases cause other changes to your component. In this post I will show you the steps on how to create a simple toggle switch using some simple tools and materials. First
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Re-purposed Book Chisel Box

We have been expanding our collection of woodworking tools, and needed a way to store chisels. A good storage solution would keep them from banging around in a drawer, thereby keeping them sharp. It should also be easy to store on a shelf, or take for use on a project outside MAKESHOP. This unassuming book is now the cozy home to six chisels. For lack of a proper sized box or thin wood to make one, bookboard would do
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How to Make a Circuit Block

Circuit Blocks exist in many different forms throughout museums around the world.  A circuit block is a set of components, switches and power sources that can be tethered together to allow people to explore electricity in a safe and easy manner.  We have been building and facilitating circuit exploration for the past several years at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh.  Circuit Blocks have become a staple acti
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Soft Circuit Blocks

A few months ago I was introduced by my colleagues in MAKESHOP to the idea of using conductive thread to sew a circuit.  The concept is simple; instead of using electrical wires to connect your components and power sources you use a conductive type of thread.  This allows you to attach your electrical components to fabric.  This is a new way of exploring and understanding circuitry.  A sewn or soft circuit may, in so
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