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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Educator Boot Camp

Over the summer MAKESHOP held a week long “bootcamp” for educators, including teachers, librarians and other community members. This was a week long professional development that coupled discussions with hands-on workshops. The educators learned how to sew, build circuits, tinker, explore and question. They learned about the importance of clamps and how to create simple computer programs. As a final activ
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A Miniature MAKESHOP

We recently explored scale and perspective as a theme in MAKESHOP.  One of our activities was to create a tiny version of the MAKESHOP exhibit.  I built a small diorama of the room and then let other educators and visitors add to the space.  There are some very recognizable objects in MAKESHOP.  It was a real challenge building tiny, tiny versions of those objects out of random recycled materials. Little red chair wi
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A Month of Tape

The month of September was full of tape. Our newest exhibit, TapeScape was under construction. The structure is made out of a lot of packing tape. You’d be surprised how sturdy the material actually is. It was able to support several grown exhibit technicians at one time. The exhibit is part climbing structure, part art piece. It is a sight to see. MAKESHOP got into the spirit of tape during this month as well.
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