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Field Trip: CC Mellor Memorial Library

This summer my fellow Teaching Artists and I will be visiting schools and libraries all around Pittsburgh and the surrounding areas to conduct workshops, help teachers and generally having fun.  I have decided to document all of my adventures here on the blog. My first trip was to the lovely CC Mellor Memorial Library in Edgewood.  I teach afterschool classes near this library, but I never have had a chance to visit.
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Harrison, the teacher

Harrison is a regular visitor to the Museum and has been mentioned before in this blog here.  A couple of days ago, he visited MAKESHOP with an agenda.  He needed help soldering some components.  I can certainly help someone solder something, but Harrison really helped me understand what it means to turn your imagination into reality. Harrison planned on creating a remote control for his room.  He was planning to hoo
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Indian Scouts and shopbots

I had the opportunity to teach a Saturday workshop about electricity to a group of Indian Scouts.  The group consisted of fifteen kindergartners and fifteen dads.  I’m not sure who had more fun… me, the kids, or the dads. I think the dads did.  I gave the group the challenge to use some motors and batteries to make something… anything.  As usual, there was no right or wrong.  My only instruction was
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CD Spin Art

Here is a great example of a visitor taking an existing exhibit piece and making it so much more fun.  This visitor turned our circuit blocks into an art project.  We were exploring the different circuit blocks and when we got to the block that contains an old CD drive I was asked if we had any CDs to test on it.  It just so happens that we have a bunch of old or ruined CD’s in one of our storage cabinets.  I g
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Kai’s Invention

Kai is a regular visitor of the Museum.  He is the kind of visitor who really enjoys tinkering with anything and everything.  On this particular day, we were experimenting with making light-up cards using copper tape and LEDs.  Kai was very interested in exploring what could be done with the copper tape and a piece of paper.  He already had some knowledge of circuitry, so he was able to understand the idea of connect
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Glowing Bots!

Every month we have a theme that helps us to decide on new activities for MAKESHOP.  We spent the month of December making projects and exploring materials that GLOW.  We had glow-in-the-dark fabric, UV LEDs, lots of holiday lights, light painting, and some glow-in-the-dark paint.  I had the brilliant idea to combine some of the GLOW activities with a ShopBot (what we call basically anything with a motor attached to
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