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Making a Magnet Wall

What can you do with a thousand flat refrigerator magnets?  That was the question I had when we received a donation of old magnets.  They were part of an advertising campaign from 2005 for a local theme park.  Sometimes it simply the shear number of a certain material that helps us develop an activity in MAKESHOP. I thought it would be cool to make patterns or pixel drawings using the magnets on one of our metal pegb
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Allen’s Car

Here is a great example of how a visitor can really come prepared to MAKESHOP. Allen visits the Museum a lot and although there are lots of things to play with at the Museum he sometimes brings his own toys as well. During this particular visit his toys completely inspired him to create something in MAKSHOP. He wanted to make a car for his pirate toys to ride around in. We spent a really long time building a car out
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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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Mobile MAKESHOP: Building Circuit Blocks

When I visited the Children’s Museum of the Ohio Valley for my first site visit there was a day camp at the Museum full of kids from the same school. The kids were used to doing crafts and using materials like glue and tape. I decided to build a bunch of circuit blocks with these kids. I got out most of the woodworking tools along with a lot of the electronics equipment. I told the kids that they were going to
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Educator Boot Camp

Over the summer MAKESHOP held a week long “bootcamp” for educators, including teachers, librarians and other community members. This was a week long professional development that coupled discussions with hands-on workshops. The educators learned how to sew, build circuits, tinker, explore and question. They learned about the importance of clamps and how to create simple computer programs. As a final activ
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A Miniature MAKESHOP

We recently explored scale and perspective as a theme in MAKESHOP.  One of our activities was to create a tiny version of the MAKESHOP exhibit.  I built a small diorama of the room and then let other educators and visitors add to the space.  There are some very recognizable objects in MAKESHOP.  It was a real challenge building tiny, tiny versions of those objects out of random recycled materials. Little red chair wi
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