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Calling All Donations

We receive a lot of donations at MAKESHOP from Museum staff as well as visitors.  Donations are always welcome.  Below is a list of the materials that we are typically looking for.  If you have a material or tool not on this list that you’d like to donate, please email: makeshop@pittsburghkids.org   Materials Needed fabric/ clothing sewing needles thread buttons yarn knitting needles/ crochet hooks small w
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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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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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Re-purposing Old Parts

I decided to drastically change the xylophone that I built for MAKESHOP.  While prototyping some ideas with a group of preschool students, some teachers and I noticed that they really enjoy filling up containers and dumping them out.  They also really like to put things through holes and fit different size pieces together.  I was unofficially commissioned to create a simple prototype that would allow our youngest vis
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Looming Danger

Sure, we’ve made some beautiful things here, but not every weaving experiment goes well.  Sometimes… well, sometimes this happens. If our strings aren’t strong enough, they’re liable to break, shred or be otherwise completely messed up. Here are some other problems, surprises, and discoveries: DENSITY Sometimes you can really tell who was doing the weaving! Every visitor who works on the loom
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Weaving Experiments Ahead

Weaving is a repetitive process, and we do a lot of it, but we love it and want to keep it fresh and interesting. So every time we start a new project, we start a new experiment! Sometimes it’s special colors, an unusual pattern, or turning it into something exciting.    Our two most recent experiments are two of my all-time favorites. This one is so bright and cheerful, just perfect for winter! And look closel
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