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Field Trip: Braddock Library

The Braddock Library is an amazing place.  The building is beautiful, the staff is extremely friendly and the patrons are awesome.  I was lucky enough to visit the library twice this summer and teach two workshops: one woodworking and one electronics.  The woodworking workshop had about twenty kids participate and all of them created something original.  One girl simply spent a half and hour sawing a huge board in ha
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Field Trip: Robinson Township Library

Derek and I had the privilege of using the Robinson Township Library’s extremely large activity space to teach woodworking.  We taught visitors how to use hammers, hand drills, saws, sand paper and screwdrivers. We planned to have the families experience and learn about the tools.  Some of the families asked if they could create something (a sculpture or a structure) using the tools and wood.  We would never st
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What did we do with MAKEY MAKEY?

What is a Makey Makey?  It is actually kind of hard to describe in words.  Essentially it is a switch that uses anything conductive to replace the keys on a standard keyboard.  There is much more information on the Makey Makey website. The Makey Makey is our newest toy in MAKESHOP.  As I mentioned, the Makey Makey is a variable switch that replaces a standard keyboard and allows you to interface with a computer using
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CD Spin Art

Here is a great example of a visitor taking an existing exhibit piece and making it so much more fun.  This visitor turned our circuit blocks into an art project.  We were exploring the different circuit blocks and when we got to the block that contains an old CD drive I was asked if we had any CDs to test on it.  It just so happens that we have a bunch of old or ruined CD’s in one of our storage cabinets.  I g
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Simple machines in MAKESHOP

I recently had the opportunity to work with a kindergarten class from the Environmental Charter School.  We had a partnership with them that created a residency for two of our teaching artists to visit the school to plan and co-teach lessons.  Nick and I were asked to help with the first grade and a kindergarten classroom.  Nick helped the first grade work on inventions and circuitry and I joined the kindergarten to
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Kai’s Invention

Kai is a regular visitor of the Museum.  He is the kind of visitor who really enjoys tinkering with anything and everything.  On this particular day, we were experimenting with making light-up cards using copper tape and LEDs.  Kai was very interested in exploring what could be done with the copper tape and a piece of paper.  He already had some knowledge of circuitry, so he was able to understand the idea of connect
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