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Educator Boot Camp

Over the summer MAKESHOP held a week long “bootcamp” for educators, including teachers, librarians and other community members. This was a week long professional development that coupled discussions with hands-on workshops. The educators learned how to sew, build circuits, tinker, explore and question. They learned about the importance of clamps and how to create simple computer programs. As a final activ
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A Miniature MAKESHOP

We recently explored scale and perspective as a theme in MAKESHOP.  One of our activities was to create a tiny version of the MAKESHOP exhibit.  I built a small diorama of the room and then let other educators and visitors add to the space.  There are some very recognizable objects in MAKESHOP.  It was a real challenge building tiny, tiny versions of those objects out of random recycled materials. Little red chair wi
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Maker BBQ

I get to do a lot of fun things for the Museum. I recently got the chance to attend a Maker BBQ hosted by Hive Pittsburgh which is part of the Kids + Creativity Network. I spent a night at Pittsburgh’s Tech Shop hanging out with a bunch of teenagers. Everyone involved was teaching or demonstrating something digital: 3D modeling, programming etc.  I decided to bring along some computers and let kids play with SC
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Field Trip: Braddock Library

The Braddock Library is an amazing place.  The building is beautiful, the staff is extremely friendly and the patrons are awesome.  I was lucky enough to visit the library twice this summer and teach two workshops: one woodworking and one electronics.  The woodworking workshop had about twenty kids participate and all of them created something original.  One girl simply spent a half and hour sawing a huge board in ha
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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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