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Maker Faire 2013

  The third Pittsburgh Mini-Maker Faire was held in September here at the Museum, presented with HackPGH.  As always, it was a lot of fun.  I spent most of my time in MAKESHOP drawing with robots and teaching people how to solder.  But I did get a chance to see all of the fun inventions and ideas that the makers were presenting. There was a really neat frisbee throwing robot that always had willing participants to ca
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Open Source PinBall

Christian built a pinball machine…  Well, he built a box with a ramp out of pegboard. The rest of our staff really helped turn it into a full-fledged pinball machine. We encouraged visitors to add their own obstacles, ramps, scoring systems, etc. This open-source pinball machine is my favorite new toy in MAKESHOP (sorry laser cutter). The additions to it are endless. The way the machine encourages trial and err
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Meet a Maker!

At the beginning of June, MAKESHOP™ welcomed four Maker Corps Members. This summer, you can find them working at Children’s  Museum of Pittsburgh and bringing MAKESHOP™ experiences on the road.  Through theMaker Education Initiative, they will engage children and families in creative projects, while gaining experience serving as leaders in the community.  Meet Lauren, who will be entering her last year at CMU and ret
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Pirates, Catapults, and Pedal Carts!

We’re working on an exciting new project at MAKESHOP: A Catapult! Normally we don’t make war machines, but this one has been repurposed for FUN. Our design is based on the trebuchet, a sling-based counterweight-powered type of catapult originally invented in the 11th century. We’re building this crazy thing to throw the first pitch for the Pirates game on September 1st! Check out the Rookie of the G
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Field Trip: Avonworth Elementary

Recently our Maker Corps Members and I visited Avonworth Elementary to hang out with some second and third graders and their teachers.  We presented them with a design challenge.  We put the kids into four groups and challenged them with the task of creating a structure out of recycled materials and tape that could support a certain amount of weight. Our weights spanned from one pound (a can of bolts) to two hundred
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Field Trip: Robinson Township Library

Derek and I had the privilege of using the Robinson Township Library’s extremely large activity space to teach woodworking.  We taught visitors how to use hammers, hand drills, saws, sand paper and screwdrivers. We planned to have the families experience and learn about the tools.  Some of the families asked if they could create something (a sculpture or a structure) using the tools and wood.  We would never st
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