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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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Meet a Maker!

At the beginning of June, MAKESHOP™ welcomed four Maker Corps Members. This summer, you can find them working at Children’s  Museum of Pittsburgh and bringing MAKESHOP™ experiences on the road.  Through theMaker Education Initiative, they will engage children and families in creative projects, while gaining experience serving as leaders in the community.  Meet Lauren, who will be entering her last year at CMU and ret
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Pirates, Catapults, and Pedal Carts!

We’re working on an exciting new project at MAKESHOP: A Catapult! Normally we don’t make war machines, but this one has been repurposed for FUN. Our design is based on the trebuchet, a sling-based counterweight-powered type of catapult originally invented in the 11th century. We’re building this crazy thing to throw the first pitch for the Pirates game on September 1st! Check out the Rookie of the G
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Making a Board Game

  How do you make a board game?   All you really need is a table, pencils, a stack of paper and your imagination.  A couple of weeks ago we allowed visitors to play and add to a simple board game that we started.  The end result was amazing…And really challenging. Most of the rules forced you to do some sort of physical challenge… …Or made you go back to start. The open-ended nature of the
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Field Trip: Shaler Elementary

Nick (one of our Maker Corps Members) and I got to spend a couple of hours at Shaler Elementary solving a lot of woodworking problems alongside amazing and diligent students.  The kids got the chance to experience all of the tools we had brought, along with safe techniques to use them properly.  After a lengthy orientation with the tools and processes, the kids were given the freedom to create whatever their hearts d
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Field Trip: Robinson Township Library

Derek and I had the privilege of using the Robinson Township Library’s extremely large activity space to teach woodworking.  We taught visitors how to use hammers, hand drills, saws, sand paper and screwdrivers. We planned to have the families experience and learn about the tools.  Some of the families asked if they could create something (a sculpture or a structure) using the tools and wood.  We would never st
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