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pittsburgh

Open Source PinBall

Christian built a pinball machine…  Well, he built a box with a ramp out of pegboard. The rest of our staff really helped turn it into a full-fledged pinball machine. We encouraged visitors to add their own obstacles, ramps, scoring systems, etc. This open-source pinball machine is my favorite new toy in MAKESHOP (sorry laser cutter). The additions to it are endless. The way the machine encourages trial and err
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More Magnets?

As usual we are always prototyping or experimenting with something new (or old) in MAKESHOP.  This particular day we decided to continue our exploration of magnets.  Magnets are something that really seems to intrigue the entire staff of MAKESHOP. I found some plastic tanks in the basement and decided to them to create some new magnetic prototypes.  We tried to create a circuit puzzle that required you to use a magne
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Meet a Maker!

At the beginning of June, MAKESHOP™ welcomed four Maker Corps Members. This summer, you can find them working at Children’s  Museum of Pittsburgh and bringing MAKESHOP™ experiences on the road.  Through theMaker Education Initiative, they will engage children and families in creative projects, while gaining experience serving as leaders in the community.  Meet Lauren, who will be entering her last year at CMU and ret
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Pirates, Catapults, and Pedal Carts!

We’re working on an exciting new project at MAKESHOP: A Catapult! Normally we don’t make war machines, but this one has been repurposed for FUN. Our design is based on the trebuchet, a sling-based counterweight-powered type of catapult originally invented in the 11th century. We’re building this crazy thing to throw the first pitch for the Pirates game on September 1st! Check out the Rookie of the G
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Making a Board Game

  How do you make a board game?   All you really need is a table, pencils, a stack of paper and your imagination.  A couple of weeks ago we allowed visitors to play and add to a simple board game that we started.  The end result was amazing…And really challenging. Most of the rules forced you to do some sort of physical challenge… …Or made you go back to start. The open-ended nature of the
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Field Trip: Avonworth Elementary

Recently our Maker Corps Members and I visited Avonworth Elementary to hang out with some second and third graders and their teachers.  We presented them with a design challenge.  We put the kids into four groups and challenged them with the task of creating a structure out of recycled materials and tape that could support a certain amount of weight. Our weights spanned from one pound (a can of bolts) to two hundred
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