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Making MAKESHOP Work

Building a Xylophone

No one told me to build a Xylophone. I didn’t know how to build a Xylophone either. I tried anyways. It is not just the visitors who get to make things in the MAKESHOP. It took a lot of thinking, a lot of scrap wood and a lot of mistakes, but I still produced something. It makes noise, which is important. Kids enjoy it, so I guess that is important, too! -Kevin
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Prototyping with Visitors

Here’s some footage of our first attempt to make kaleidoscopes with visitors. Anyone can look up a project online and assume that people will enjoy it. I’m the kind of person who needs to get the opinions of visitors before I believe that an activity is worth doing. Plus, I really enjoy having the opportunity to teach something new. In this case, we were testing out the kaleidoscope activity we had modifi
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Making Messes

It seems that no matter who I work with, whether it’s with a fellow educator or a little kid, my work spaces end up looking like the above two pictures. Sometimes having a mess can help you be a little more creative. -Kevin
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Sewing Circuits, Part 2

On Tuesday, Pei and I hoped to replicate the success of last Sunday’s workshops. We soon realized, however, that it was a beautiful day outside — after so many unpleasantly hot and sticky ones — and the attendance rate of the museum was therefore lower than we had anticipated, as all of Pittsburgh was busy enjoying the novelty of not having to swim through the humidity in the air. By the time 1pm ro
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a Sunday spent Prototyping is a Sunday spent playing

I love it when there are new toys to play with at the Museum; this Sunday presented me with not one but two.  I already knew about the DIY Pinball created by Felix in the MakeShop; I briefly played with it on Saturday and made it clear that I would spend all day Sunday playing with the thing if time allowed.  Little did I know that another project would also make an appearance on the Floor on Sunday; a protoype Tough
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Fifth Period: Shop Class

Every Sunday I find myself venturing into the MakeShop just to see what’s going on.  Lately we’ve been allowing visitors to experiment and build using wood.  Visitors are able to create whatever kind of project they want using our tools and materials. First off, visitors are asked to draw up a blueprint of their project.  Visualizing your project is incredibly important.  From there visitors are able to s
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