Scrap Wood Mallet

I have always liked the idea of making my own tools. While the complexities of an electric drill are far beyond me, a simple wooden mallet is well within reach. By making your own, you can customize it to fit your needs and aesthetic. A wooden mallet is great for tapping chisels and easing joints together. Unlike a metal hammer, it isn’t hard enough to dent chisels or mar a wooden project. Additionally, it is l
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Physics in Motion

A couple of weeks ago we let our visitors explore ramps on a very large scale. We cleared out a large space in MAKESHOP and let adults and kids explore with cardboard tubes, tape and ping pong balls. Photos don’t really do this activity justice. Below are several videos highlighting some of the more interesting creations during our ramp experiment. This was a ramp that I assembled with the help of several kids.
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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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Allen’s Car

Here is a great example of how a visitor can really come prepared to MAKESHOP. Allen visits the Museum a lot and although there are lots of things to play with at the Museum he sometimes brings his own toys as well. During this particular visit his toys completely inspired him to create something in MAKSHOP. He wanted to make a car for his pirate toys to ride around in. We spent a really long time building a car out
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A Practical Laser Cutter Project

I had the opportunity to use our laser cutter to create something practical for a change. We usually use our laser cutter to experiment with visitors and demonstrate the use of a laser to cut or etch different materials. I was asked to create this project for Tula Organic Salon and Spa. They wanted to laser cut a stencil so that they could paint a bathroom sign for their shop. I suggested that we could use the laser
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MAKESHOP MAKEover Edition 2: Millvale Community Library

Mobile MAKESHOP is a program that hopes to expand our ideas and teaching practices to outside sites and community partners. One of those partners is the recently opened Millvale Community Library. This space was built from the ground up by the residents of Millvale, a small suburb of Pittsburgh. The library is incredible and is a great community space for the town. The Library is really a gathering space for the yout
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