circuit blocks

Magnets and Circuits Blocks Combine To Form…

Circuit blocks are a very popular part of MAKESHOP. But there has been a single pressing problem within our design that has plagued teaching artists for the past several years. We use alligator clips to connect our blocks together and the problem with these is that our younger visitors have trouble manipulating these clips. It is quite the strain on their fine motor skill capabilities to open and close the clips.  Th
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A Case of the PTA

[Ed note: This is Kevin’s experience on the  Avonworth PTA visit, which Scott Miller recently wrote a guest post about!] Usually when we teach workshops in MAKESHOP they are for students or groups of teachers. For this particular workshop I got the chance to teach a slightly different audience. Members of the Avonworth School District PTA wanted to have a “making” experience in MAKESHOP. We let them
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How To Make a Circuit Block: Binder Clip Toggle Switch

In my previous blog post on making circuit blocks I showed you how to construct a power source block and a light block. Another integral part of exploring circuitry is exploring switches. A switch can be used to turn components on or off, and in some cases cause other changes to your component. In this post I will show you the steps on how to create a simple toggle switch using some simple tools and materials. First
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Camp MAKESHOP: Electronics

My day was dedicated to the exploration of electricity.  In the morning the kids got the chance to play with some of our existing circuit blocks.  We then gave the kids the chance to take apart a couple of old, broken electronic toys.  They had a blast during this activity.  We found a bunch of working switches and components (mainly speakers).   The kids and I then spent the remainder of the day constructing new cir
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My two favorite things…

The above photo is a nice visual representation of two of my favorite things happening at once in MAKESHOP. There are a bunch of educators in our workshop and we are making circuit blocks. I love it when the Museum hosts any event or professional development that involves other educators. Earlier in the month of August we held another of our Maker Educator Bootcamps. This bootcamp was a week long event that gave educ
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Our Circuit Blocks

The circuit blocks in MAKESHOP are easily one of my most favorite things in our Museum. They might not be the prettiest things in the Museum but they do have a certain charm to them. “Circuit blocks are a set of components, switches and powers sources mounted on wood that can be connected together with electrical wires. They are used to allow children and adults the chance to explore electricity through trial,
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