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Field Trip: Shaler Elementary

Nick (one of our Maker Corps Members) and I got to spend a couple of hours at Shaler Elementary solving a lot of woodworking problems alongside amazing and diligent students.  The kids got the chance to experience all of the tools we had brought, along with safe techniques to use them properly.  After a lengthy orientation with the tools and processes, the kids were given the freedom to create whatever their hearts d
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Field Trip: Robinson Township Library

Derek and I had the privilege of using the Robinson Township Library’s extremely large activity space to teach woodworking.  We taught visitors how to use hammers, hand drills, saws, sand paper and screwdrivers. We planned to have the families experience and learn about the tools.  Some of the families asked if they could create something (a sculpture or a structure) using the tools and wood.  We would never st
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Lets Go Bucs!

I really like baseball; since I moved to Pittsburgh I finally found a team to root for…The Pittsburgh Pirates.  I was extremely ecstatic to hear that the Museum had partnered with the Bucs this summer to do some special programming.  Included in this programming is our open-sourced pinball machine (built by Christian and modified by the rest of the staff). With a little help from everyone in MAKESHOP and a lot
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Pterodactyls, Superheroes and Light Houses…

Sometimes we end up with a theme within a theme in MAKESHOP.  In this case, our theme was “MAKESBURGH” (our community created cardboard city).  Within that theme emerged some other strange trends.  For some reason, the skies of MAKESBURGH became plagued with pterodactyls.  One young, imaginative visitor came up with an entire superhero to help keep MAKESBURGH safe.   CAT CREATURE!…who defends t
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What did we do with MAKEY MAKEY?

What is a Makey Makey?  It is actually kind of hard to describe in words.  Essentially it is a switch that uses anything conductive to replace the keys on a standard keyboard.  There is much more information on the Makey Makey website. The Makey Makey is our newest toy in MAKESHOP.  As I mentioned, the Makey Makey is a variable switch that replaces a standard keyboard and allows you to interface with a computer using
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MAKESBURGH RETURNS

We decided to do a big community project at the end of May.  The Museum sees a record number of visitors this time of year due to school field trips.  We felt that a big group project would be fun for all of these groups to add to.  We always have  a ton of recycled materials in MAKESHOP, and what better way to use these materials, than to build a giant cardboard city! We set up the workshop space as a landscape (wit
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