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circuits

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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Puppets and technology

How do you mix paper bag crafts with technology?  Our usual answer to a question like that is “put a light on it!”  Basically, we tried to figure out what we could add to a paper bag puppet to make it more “techy.”  Rebecca created a very cool example that combines a paper bag with an electronic circuit.  When you close its mouth, two paper clips touch each other and complete the circuit allow
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Chair + Lights = ?

The month of December is over and our GLOW theme is done, but that doesn’t mean that we are not still trying to add lights to anything and everything in MAKESHOP.  After spending an entire month playing with lights and creating all kinds of switches, I decided that it would be really cool to make a chair that lights up when you sit on it. I started working on a really rough prototype that used some LED lights,
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Circuit block progression

I recently noticed that I have greatly changed my facilitation methods for circuit blocks. When I first started at MAKESHOP, I ran circuit blocks like a demonstration. I’d show kids how each of the various types of components worked, and then ask if they wanted to play with any of them. This didn’t last long as a style, because a good number of kids would be bored by the end of the experience, or intimidated by the n
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