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Field Trip: Braddock Library

The Braddock Library is an amazing place.  The building is beautiful, the staff is extremely friendly and the patrons are awesome.  I was lucky enough to visit the library twice this summer and teach two workshops: one woodworking and one electronics.  The woodworking workshop had about twenty kids participate and all of them created something original.  One girl simply spent a half and hour sawing a huge board in ha
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Maker Faire 2013

  The third Pittsburgh Mini-Maker Faire was held in September here at the Museum, presented with HackPGH.  As always, it was a lot of fun.  I spent most of my time in MAKESHOP drawing with robots and teaching people how to solder.  But I did get a chance to see all of the fun inventions and ideas that the makers were presenting. There was a really neat frisbee throwing robot that always had willing participants to ca
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Open Source PinBall

Christian built a pinball machine…  Well, he built a box with a ramp out of pegboard. The rest of our staff really helped turn it into a full-fledged pinball machine. We encouraged visitors to add their own obstacles, ramps, scoring systems, etc. This open-source pinball machine is my favorite new toy in MAKESHOP (sorry laser cutter). The additions to it are endless. The way the machine encourages trial and err
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More Magnets?

As usual we are always prototyping or experimenting with something new (or old) in MAKESHOP.  This particular day we decided to continue our exploration of magnets.  Magnets are something that really seems to intrigue the entire staff of MAKESHOP. I found some plastic tanks in the basement and decided to them to create some new magnetic prototypes.  We tried to create a circuit puzzle that required you to use a magne
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We’re Jammin’

Sam, one of our Maker Corps Members, reflects on a favorite activity of the summer: Tots run MAKESHOP on Monday mornings when we close off the workshop and have Tot MAKE, with activities designed for younger children, ages 1-3. So far, my favorite Tot MAKE of the summer was when we made tasty jam out of berries. We started off Tot MAKE by reading ‘Don’t Squish the Sasquatch’. Then, we put our squishing skills to the
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Wooden Automata

Nick, one of our Maker Corps Members, describes the workshop he planned: Recently, I had the opportunity to teach a workshop called “Wooden Automata”, in which kids created kinetic wood projects. When I started planning my workshop, I immediately knew I wanted to do something with wood, since it’s my favorite material to work with. I realized that for a lot of kids, wood is seen as purely static, an
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