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innovation

A classroom visit

I recently had the privilege of completing a residency at a kindergarten class at the Environmental Charter School.  The class was exploring simple machines, such as pulleys, gears, inclined planes, wheels and axles, etc.  I was asked to help plan and co-teach with their teacher, Jen.  I always enjoy visiting schools.  Typically, classes come to the Museum to explore and learn, but it’s extra special when when
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A family’s prototype

Here is a quick story about an amazing pair of makers that spent an entire Saturday working on a single idea, which was “What can you do with a mousetrap?” When I joined this father and son team, they were already under production with their creation: a mousetrap car.  Apparently the dad saw that we had a couple of mousetraps in a jar on a shelf and his son remembered something that he saw that involved a
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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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Goofing off at Maker Faire

[slideshow] We hosted the second annual Pittsburgh Mini Maker Faire last week.  It was a lovely day full of lovely people.  I could go on in great detail about all the gadgets and amazing inventions on display.  Instead, what I noticed most during the day was a sense of goofiness.  Everyone was genuinely having fun. We had so much fun at the second annual Pittsburgh Mini Maker Faire! If you missed the event, then you
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SparkTruck Pit Stop

We had some amazing guests visit the Museum from Stanford University in sunny California.  Jason, Didi and Eugene have spent the summer traveling across the United States in a mobile workshop dubbed the SparkTruck.  Check it out! Along the way, they have been stopping at museums, community centers, events, and parks… Anywhere they can find.  Their truck is full of various gadgets, materials and tools.  The most
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Andrew’s Shield

[slideshow] Andrew is an interesting visitor. He typically has a plan for exactly what he wants to do or make at the Museum. The really fascinating thing is that his projects typically span the course of several visits to the Museum. He brings his projects back to improve them or build newer versions. He has a real knack for prototyping. This particular project was a Plasma Beam Shield. He worked on it one day and to
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