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Maker Meet Up

MAKESHOP is an exhibit at the Museum.  It is primarily a space for visitors to use.  But it is used for other things too.  The space is often used as a meeting place for educators and community leaders here in Pittsburgh. These meetings are a great way for people from various schools and organizations to share ideas and plan for the future.  Topics range from creative curriculum creation to teacher professional devel
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A Weaving Workshop

A couple of weeks ago a group of Kindergarteners and their Eighth Grade Buddies visited the Museum to explore the process of weaving.  They were furthering their exploration of the history of Native Americans by learning some of the culture’s creative processes. The Eighth Graders and Pre-K students built their own cardboard looms and practiced weaving with pieces of yarn.  They also got a chance to explore our
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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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DIY RPG (an original MAKESHOP strategy game)

At our last Youth Maker Night we gave the kids the opportunity to create their own board game using pieces and parts from existing games (chess pieces, dice, paper money, etc.). One boy in particular decided to take this activity to a whole other level.  He developed a role playing strategy game using chess pieces and postit notes.  The materials were simple.  The instructions were not. We spent roughly 20 minutes go
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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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