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electricity

Indian Scouts and shopbots

I had the opportunity to teach a Saturday workshop about electricity to a group of Indian Scouts.  The group consisted of fifteen kindergartners and fifteen dads.  I’m not sure who had more fun… me, the kids, or the dads. I think the dads did.  I gave the group the challenge to use some motors and batteries to make something… anything.  As usual, there was no right or wrong.  My only instruction was
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Puppets and technology

How do you mix paper bag crafts with technology?  Our usual answer to a question like that is “put a light on it!”  Basically, we tried to figure out what we could add to a paper bag puppet to make it more “techy.”  Rebecca created a very cool example that combines a paper bag with an electronic circuit.  When you close its mouth, two paper clips touch each other and complete the circuit allow
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Chair + Lights = ?

The month of December is over and our GLOW theme is done, but that doesn’t mean that we are not still trying to add lights to anything and everything in MAKESHOP.  After spending an entire month playing with lights and creating all kinds of switches, I decided that it would be really cool to make a chair that lights up when you sit on it. I started working on a really rough prototype that used some LED lights,
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Circuit block progression

I recently noticed that I have greatly changed my facilitation methods for circuit blocks. When I first started at MAKESHOP, I ran circuit blocks like a demonstration. I’d show kids how each of the various types of components worked, and then ask if they wanted to play with any of them. This didn’t last long as a style, because a good number of kids would be bored by the end of the experience, or intimidated by the n
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Ready to Glow!

Every month we have a different theme, putting in activities that are new and different. December’s theme is GLOW. We’re preparing a whole lot of new activities like blacklight drawing and glowing putty, and keeping in some favorites like light painting and stop motion!  We might even have real glowing mushrooms (proven non-toxic non-poisonous.) There will also be GLOW activities in the STUDIO, as well as
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The Next Iteration

It is always great to see visitors returning to the Museum with projects that they started in MAKESHOP.  This specific project was a wooden car that a boy and his grandfather had started building in MAKESHOP in June.  They were hoping to add some more things to their car.  They certainly came on the right day. We were prototyping some copper tape/circuitry projects with visitors when they brought the car in.  The boy
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