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Too Many Shoes?

I’ve always said that solving problems is one of the most important parts of being a maker. It is a lot of fun to solve a problem by making something. That is essentially how an inventor thinks. If you are tired of sitting on the ground then why not build a chair? If you your chair isn’t comfortable then you can always sew a cushion. My problem was too many shoes in my closet at home. I could have easily
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Making a Magnet Wall

What can you do with a thousand flat refrigerator magnets?  That was the question I had when we received a donation of old magnets.  They were part of an advertising campaign from 2005 for a local theme park.  Sometimes it simply the shear number of a certain material that helps us develop an activity in MAKESHOP. I thought it would be cool to make patterns or pixel drawings using the magnets on one of our metal pegb
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Allen’s Car

Here is a great example of how a visitor can really come prepared to MAKESHOP. Allen visits the Museum a lot and although there are lots of things to play with at the Museum he sometimes brings his own toys as well. During this particular visit his toys completely inspired him to create something in MAKSHOP. He wanted to make a car for his pirate toys to ride around in. We spent a really long time building a car out
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Mobile MAKESHOP: Building Circuit Blocks

When I visited the Children’s Museum of the Ohio Valley for my first site visit there was a day camp at the Museum full of kids from the same school. The kids were used to doing crafts and using materials like glue and tape. I decided to build a bunch of circuit blocks with these kids. I got out most of the woodworking tools along with a lot of the electronics equipment. I told the kids that they were going to
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MAKESHOP MAKEover Edition 2: Millvale Community Library

Mobile MAKESHOP is a program that hopes to expand our ideas and teaching practices to outside sites and community partners. One of those partners is the recently opened Millvale Community Library. This space was built from the ground up by the residents of Millvale, a small suburb of Pittsburgh. The library is incredible and is a great community space for the town. The Library is really a gathering space for the yout
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The Importance of Prompts

MAKESHOP is not just for kids, adults are allowed to have fun too.  Every year the Museum hosts an event for the Katz School of Business at the University of Pittsburgh.  There has always been some kind of building challenge during this event.  This year we prompted the groups to build bridges out of recycled materials.  The bridges did not have to hold a certain weight or be a certain length.  Instead, they were mea
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