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innovation

Ramps!

Every once and a while we decide to totally transform MAKESHOP to meet the needs of a specific activity. For the past couple of months we had been brainstorming some way to play around with ramps and “Rube Goldberg Machines” in our space. Around the end of December we were given a donation of hundreds of cardboard tubes. We took this as a sign that we should come up with some kind of ramp activity soon. O
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Making a Magnet Wall

What can you do with a thousand flat refrigerator magnets?  That was the question I had when we received a donation of old magnets.  They were part of an advertising campaign from 2005 for a local theme park.  Sometimes it simply the shear number of a certain material that helps us develop an activity in MAKESHOP. I thought it would be cool to make patterns or pixel drawings using the magnets on one of our metal pegb
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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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Melt the Night Away

We hosted yet another Adult MAKEnight this October.  We offered hand sewing and machine sewing as an activity along with circuit blocks and stop-motion animation.  We prompted our patrons to make something for Halloween, but of course everyone was free to make whatever they wanted.  The Art Studio also provided a bunch of activities, including silk screening with glow in the dark ink.  The silk screens were done on f
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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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