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How to control the game?

I was given the opportunity to work with an after school class at the Environmental Charter School in Pittsburgh a couple of weeks ago. The teachers wanted the kids to explore circuits and prototyping along with something digital. A great way to explore all of those things at once is to create a physical circuit that lets you interact with a digital computer program. We use a tool called a MaKey MaKey to allow the st
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Camp MAKESHOP: 3D Modeling & Laser Cutting

Friday in Camp MAKESHOP was bounded only by imagination because all our work started in virtual spaces. Our goal was to understand how to create objects of our design and desire using some of the schmanciest tools in the MAKESHOP, namely the solidoodle 3D printer and the laser cutter. How do you narrow it down when there are no limits? We played a game to start. First you had to make a nickname consisting of a word t
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Camp MAKESHOP: Computational Thinking

Before learning about computational thinking and computer programming, campers were asked to design something a little more low-tech: a board game! Many of the same ideas about rules, steps and instructions are the same between computer programming and board game design. Once they played around with their physical creations, the kids sat down at computers to make something that is digitally interactive. Computational
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Chain Reaction Machine

A couple of Saturdays ago we experimented with chain reactions in the workshop in MAKSEHOP. Dan, one of our MAKESHOP Educators, and I  spent the entire day building and adding to our chain reaction machine with any visitor who wanted to participate. We built our machine out of recycled materials, tape and some of our circuit blocks. Essentially our chain reaction machine was a series of ramps and ball that either kno
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A blank ScratchJr screen

Hello, ScratchJr!

We’ve been using Scratch to create animations, games, and art in the MAKESHOP for a while. Scratch is a programming language that teaches kids how to develop things that can be played with and looked at on a computer, and we love to use Scratch to make interactive pieces around MAKESHOP. Scratch can be a little tricky to understand, and until recently, older kids (8 to 16 years old) were usually better at makin
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Chain Reactions and Animations

At the beginning of October we hosted yet another Youth Make event. During the night a lot of different projects were worked on by the kids and staff. Our wooden sewing model was given a suit of armor for its Halloween costume. There were a couple of sewing projects created during the night. As usual the kids hung out, ate a lot of pizza and made things. The main theme of the night was chain reactions and ramps. The
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