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MAKESHOP through the eyes of a four year old

Soren is four years old and he visits MAKESHOP on a weekly basis. He is really interested in exploring everything that MAKESHOP has to offer. A couple of weeks ago Cori, a member of the Museum’s New Media Department, was testing out a new camera in MAKESHOP. As with everything, Soren was really interested in exploring the camera. The camera was built pretty tough and didn’t have to many buttons or options
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Teaching Teachers About Scratch Jr.

A couple of weeks ago I was given the chance to teach a group of Pre-K teachers about Scratch Jr.  You can learn more about Scratch Jr. from a previous post by Molly here.  This was one of the most fun professional developments that I ever taught.  The plan was to introduce the teachers to a couple of creative programs that could be used in their classrooms.  Scratch Jr. took center stage.  The program is really intu
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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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