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Made by MAKESHOP

Underwater MAKESHOP

We have made several large, community projects in our workshop space before. Visitors have helped to create cardboard cities, newspaper sculptures and forts. For our recent “Free Admission” day at the Museum (and to celebrate the beginning of summer) our workshop was transformed into an underwater aquarium. Visitors spent the next couple of days filling the aquarium with fish, sea turtles, underwater cars
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Learning to Sew

When I was little, I had a giant stuffed toy named Gumby. Gumby was big–bigger than I was!–and green. He was a character from a show I watched on TV, which was made with stop motion animation. Gumby was fun to jump on, because he was squishy and soft, so my little brother and I jumped on him a lot. After a while, Gumby started to look a little lumpy and worn out. I wished I could make him look new, but I
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Finishing MAKESHOP’s quilt

In February, we began working on a collaborative quilt in MAKESHOP. I wrote about it almost two months ago here. Here’s our update: it’s finished! It has been a true labor of love shared by so many people and an amazing learning experience. I wanted to share some updated photos of the process and getting it hung on the wall. We began by cutting 5×5 inch squares out of scrap fabric. We provided fabric
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Design and prototype

Sometimes, we can find some really cool stuff in the Museum’s basement. Our basement serves as one of the exhibit workshops, so many of the materials were at one point used for prototyping or repairing exhibits. For example, this acrylic dome. It was originally used as a prototype for our newly renovated Waterplay exhibit.  Now, it is being used to develop a new magnet activity in MAKESHOP. You can’t move
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Another Gear Idea

Derek, a new employee at the Museum and a local teacher in Pittsburgh, presented a great idea to me a couple of days ago.  He wants to make a mechanical version of our circuit blocks.  He thinks that it is important to utilize various types of gears to create blocks that visitors can connect together to further explore mechanization.  To explain this concept only in words is very confusing. A couple of Sundays ago, D
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A Week in MAKESHOP (in two minutes)

MAKESHOP is not a static exhibit.  It changes to accommodate a variety of activities and programs, such as schools groups, guest makers, play-testing, meetings, photo shoots, themed activities, etc.  Tables get moved, messes are made (and cleaned up), things are broken (and fixed), and everyone has fun. We made a time-lapse video of the workshop side of MAKESHOP over the span of an entire week.  We borrowed a special
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