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MAKESHOP in the park

It is summer and that means that we are able to move some of our MAKESHOP activities outside. Last year we had a bike-cart that some of the staff would take out to the local parks to do small activities with the community. This year we got the opportunity to provide an outdoor activity for a weekend event Buhl Park in front of the Museum. I recently discovered a water rocket launching kit in our basement storage. We
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Youth Maker Nights, Past and Coming Up

Our last Youth Maker Night was a blast.  There were some very dedicated and creative kids in attendance, working on activities ranging from soldering to weaving,  animation to board game making.  And, as always, there was pizza. This is a great experience for kids 10-15 years old to experience MAKESHOP with their peers and work with MAKESHOP Teaching Artists.  Parents are not required to attend Youth Maker Nights. Jo
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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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A Practical Laser Cutter Project

I had the opportunity to use our laser cutter to create something practical for a change. We usually use our laser cutter to experiment with visitors and demonstrate the use of a laser to cut or etch different materials. I was asked to create this project for Tula Organic Salon and Spa. They wanted to laser cut a stencil so that they could paint a bathroom sign for their shop. I suggested that we could use the laser
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MAKESHOP MAKEover Edition 2: Millvale Community Library

Mobile MAKESHOP is a program that hopes to expand our ideas and teaching practices to outside sites and community partners. One of those partners is the recently opened Millvale Community Library. This space was built from the ground up by the residents of Millvale, a small suburb of Pittsburgh. The library is incredible and is a great community space for the town. The Library is really a gathering space for the yout
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The Importance of Prompts

MAKESHOP is not just for kids, adults are allowed to have fun too.  Every year the Museum hosts an event for the Katz School of Business at the University of Pittsburgh.  There has always been some kind of building challenge during this event.  This year we prompted the groups to build bridges out of recycled materials.  The bridges did not have to hold a certain weight or be a certain length.  Instead, they were mea
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