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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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Art Conference + Sewing = ???

In September, Pittsburgh hosted the Arts and Education Partnership National Forum (AEPF). Our executive director, Jane Werner, was asked to speak at the Forum and we were asked to have an accompanying table with a small taste of what goes on in MAKESHOP. We brought along a lot of example projects, wooden joinery blocks, circuit blocks, soldering tools, etc. We also brought along a lot of sewing materials. The plan wa
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A boy sits with his recycled materials project in a large room

Camp MAKESHOP: In Summary

And so Camp MAKESHOP came to an end. At the end of the week we asked the kids to fill out a survey. They asked for less time for lunch and more time for making. More projects, more days, more woodworking, more 3D printing – and a couple along the lines of the very flattering, “I don’t think it can be improved.”   “I really liked this camp I met some really nice kids and grownups i hope this camp goes on fo
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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: Electronics

My day was dedicated to the exploration of electricity.  In the morning the kids got the chance to play with some of our existing circuit blocks.  We then gave the kids the chance to take apart a couple of old, broken electronic toys.  They had a blast during this activity.  We found a bunch of working switches and components (mainly speakers).   The kids and I then spent the remainder of the day constructing new cir
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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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