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Underwater MAKESHOP

We have made several large, community projects in our workshop space before. Visitors have helped to create cardboard cities, newspaper sculptures and forts. For our recent “Free Admission” day at the Museum (and to celebrate the beginning of summer) our workshop was transformed into an underwater aquarium. Visitors spent the next couple of days filling the aquarium with fish, sea turtles, underwater cars
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Making Problems and Solving Problems

Usually it is the teacher who provides the problems for the students to solve. At the Museum and especially in MAKESHOP we like to give teachers an opportunity create some problems for themselves. Teacher trainings might be my favorite thing to do in MAKESHOP. Being a teacher myself I see the benefits to these kinds of professional development opportunities. Having a group of teachers learn how to do something with l
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MAKESHOP + Penny Arcade: An Improvisational Collaboration

im·pro·vise verb : to speak or perform without preparation : to make or create (something) by using whatever is available (Merriam-Webster) Here at MAKESHOP, we make things up every day. Often, we create cool things without a lot of planning, and we limit ourselves to the resources around us (which is why we do so many projects with old fabric and toilet paper rolls). Doing things this way lets us try lots of differe
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Turning Problems Into Solutions: Frick Environmental Charter School Collaboration

Have you ever wanted to make something work better? The first graders at Frick Environmental Charter School did; from December to February, they identified problems in their classrooms and worked to invent solutions for those problems. MAKESHOP Teaching Artists worked with the first graders throughout their process via FaceTime chats, in-class sessions, and a field trip that brought the students into our workshop. In
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Ramps!

Every once and a while we decide to totally transform MAKESHOP to meet the needs of a specific activity. For the past couple of months we had been brainstorming some way to play around with ramps and “Rube Goldberg Machines” in our space. Around the end of December we were given a donation of hundreds of cardboard tubes. We took this as a sign that we should come up with some kind of ramp activity soon. O
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Maker Meet Up

MAKESHOP is an exhibit at the Museum.  It is primarily a space for visitors to use.  But it is used for other things too.  The space is often used as a meeting place for educators and community leaders here in Pittsburgh. These meetings are a great way for people from various schools and organizations to share ideas and plan for the future.  Topics range from creative curriculum creation to teacher professional devel
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