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Lots of Noise

  The month of June was entirely sound themed in MAKESHOP. We built instruments, programmed digital pianos and drums, hosted a guitar making workshop, and more. Most of all we made a lot of noise. Visitors had a lot of fun exploring the different instruments. The older kids were able to construct their own musical inventions as well as help with the construction of a large, collective drum kit. Little kids simpl
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Mammoths in MAKESHOP

Throughout the month of July we have explored different ways to make puppets. At our latest Youth Maker Night we had some tools out for machine sewing and hand sewing in case anyone was interested in making a puppet. The discovery of a large piece of brown, furry fabric lead two boy to the idea of making Wooly Mammoth puppets. The two boys working on this project got the chance to learn a bunch of sewing techniques.
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Animation at Youth Maker Night

We spent our last Youth Maker Night exploring the process of stop-motion animation. We set up a lot of different “animation stations” throughout MAKESHOP. Some of them utilized an iPad app called iMotionHD. Another used an original computer program designed by one of our Exhibits Technicians. And another used a traditional camera and tripod. A group of teens decided to animate a couple of simple, wooden t
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Underwater MAKESHOP

We have made several large, community projects in our workshop space before. Visitors have helped to create cardboard cities, newspaper sculptures and forts. For our recent “Free Admission” day at the Museum (and to celebrate the beginning of summer) our workshop was transformed into an underwater aquarium. Visitors spent the next couple of days filling the aquarium with fish, sea turtles, underwater cars
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College Trip

I recently had the opportunity to teach two workshops at an event for girls interested in science hosted at Robert Morris University. As usual I gave the kids minimal instruction and then allowed them a large amount of time to explore the materials and components. They were given the chance to make something — anything — out of recycled materials, motors and batteries. This group of girls really took this
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MAKESHOP in the park

It is summer and that means that we are able to move some of our MAKESHOP activities outside. Last year we had a bike-cart that some of the staff would take out to the local parks to do small activities with the community. This year we got the opportunity to provide an outdoor activity for a weekend event Buhl Park in front of the Museum. I recently discovered a water rocket launching kit in our basement storage. We
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