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Making MAKESHOP Work

Meet a Maker!

  For a limited time only, you can visit the MAKESHOP and work with Lea on Sunday – Thursday.  Lea will be working with us until the end of August when she will continue her creative pursuits at the STUDIO for Creative Inquiry at Carnegie Mellon University. Name/ Nickname: Lea Favorite color: Teal How long have you been working at Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh? I’ve been a Teaching Artist sin
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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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Bombs away!

These days in Pittsburgh, I find myself sitting around waiting for signs of spring.  Until last weekend. I found the perfect remedy to beat the wintertime blues… BATH BOMBS!  What better way to treat yourself than soaking up warmth in a bath tub or hot tub, knowing you made your very own bath fizzy. The ingredients and directions are quite simple, making these a fun Valentine’s Day treat for someone who m
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Circuit block progression

I recently noticed that I have greatly changed my facilitation methods for circuit blocks. When I first started at MAKESHOP, I ran circuit blocks like a demonstration. I’d show kids how each of the various types of components worked, and then ask if they wanted to play with any of them. This didn’t last long as a style, because a good number of kids would be bored by the end of the experience, or intimidated by the n
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Re-purposing Old Parts

I decided to drastically change the xylophone that I built for MAKESHOP.  While prototyping some ideas with a group of preschool students, some teachers and I noticed that they really enjoy filling up containers and dumping them out.  They also really like to put things through holes and fit different size pieces together.  I was unofficially commissioned to create a simple prototype that would allow our youngest vis
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Planning

The Museum can be a very busy place around the holidays.  We generally try to have themed or special programming for our visitors to enjoy.  The weekend after Thanksgiving, we decided to let the visitors build forts in MAKESHOP. The picture above is a good example of how we typically get ready for a weekend full of special programming in MAKESHOP.  It always helps to draw out some kind of floor plan for the space.  P
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