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creativity

Too Many Shoes?

I’ve always said that solving problems is one of the most important parts of being a maker. It is a lot of fun to solve a problem by making something. That is essentially how an inventor thinks. If you are tired of sitting on the ground then why not build a chair? If you your chair isn’t comfortable then you can always sew a cushion. My problem was too many shoes in my closet at home. I could have easily
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We made a sloth

Before I started teaching in MAKESHOP I really didn’t make very many things at home.  Nowadays there is always some kind of project we are working on.  At my house we really like sewing and we really like sloths.  So we figured, why not make a stuffed sloth? We looked up a lot of pictures of real sloths to see how exactly the their facial markings looked.  We made a pattern on paper and then went on an adventur
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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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A MAKESHOP Art Show

Our Teaching Artists and one of our interns recently had the chance to display some original MAKESHOP creations in an art show at Tula Organic Salon and Spa here in Pittsburgh. The Salon hosts a different artist every month and allows them to display their artwork throughout the space.  The MAKEHOP Art Show included a light-up jacket created by Christian as a Halloween costume/night light. Some DIY guitars (one was m
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Making a Magnet Wall

What can you do with a thousand flat refrigerator magnets?  That was the question I had when we received a donation of old magnets.  They were part of an advertising campaign from 2005 for a local theme park.  Sometimes it simply the shear number of a certain material that helps us develop an activity in MAKESHOP. I thought it would be cool to make patterns or pixel drawings using the magnets on one of our metal pegb
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DIY RPG (an original MAKESHOP strategy game)

At our last Youth Maker Night we gave the kids the opportunity to create their own board game using pieces and parts from existing games (chess pieces, dice, paper money, etc.). One boy in particular decided to take this activity to a whole other level.  He developed a role playing strategy game using chess pieces and postit notes.  The materials were simple.  The instructions were not. We spent roughly 20 minutes go
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