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Making MAKESHOP Work

Animation in the MAKESHOP

Each month, MAKESHOP decides on a theme to help us pick and develop activities. This month our theme is “time.” Stop-motion animation takes time to experience.  It also lets you manipulate the timing of pictures, so we decided to do some stop-motion animation this month. Our stop-motion machine got a little bit of an upgrade.  The controls are still housed in a take-out container from the Big Red Room Caf
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Boomerangs. They’re coming back.

I love boomerangs. No matter how much I understand the physics behind them, there’s still something magical and artistic about them. I’ve made a few at home, but wanted to make some with kids here, and no visitor would be up for the many hours of sawing, sanding, testing, sanding, finishing, sanding, and other frustration that comes with making a wooden boomerang. So I tried making them out of cardboard.
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Masks!

Our theme for the month of October is identity.  We’ve decided to explore this theme by creating masks and costumes.  A mask is a great way to change your persona.  We’ve spent the past couple of days experimenting with different materials and designs.  As usual, we invite our visitors to share in this prototyping process.  You can learn a lot just by watching a group of people make things. I have never r
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Halloween came early…

We started prototyping some projects for October acouple of days ago.  It was really hard not to go with a Halloween theme.  Alexis and I spent the morning creating some DIY decorations for the MAKESHOP.  I figured that it would be really cool to add some electronics to some simple cardboard decorations. As always, this process of prototyping programming is a blast.  I really look forward to seeing what visitors will
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Circuit Experiments

We have been working on some new circuit block prototypes lately. Christian is working on a motorized generator that is constructed out of an old bike. Nick built a really cool circuit puzzle using conductive tape. These projects have really got us thinking about the future possibilities of our circuit blocks. I attempted to build a matching game that utilized circuits… still working on that. I did, however, cr
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Playing with Gears

I was asked by a fellow teacher to create something that facilitates the exploration of gears.  Gears can be tricky for children to understand, so I thought it was a great challenge! After an extremely informal brainstorming session with Christian, I came up with this activity.  I have to thank Christian for passing by during the day and suggesting that I use tacks and foam.  The gears were donated by someone, the fo
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