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Kai’s Invention

Kai is a regular visitor of the Museum.  He is the kind of visitor who really enjoys tinkering with anything and everything.  On this particular day, we were experimenting with making light-up cards using copper tape and LEDs.  Kai was very interested in exploring what could be done with the copper tape and a piece of paper.  He already had some knowledge of circuitry, so he was able to understand the idea of connect
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Masks!

Our theme for the month of October is identity.  We’ve decided to explore this theme by creating masks and costumes.  A mask is a great way to change your persona.  We’ve spent the past couple of days experimenting with different materials and designs.  As usual, we invite our visitors to share in this prototyping process.  You can learn a lot just by watching a group of people make things. I have never r
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MAKESHOP Superhero Gadgets

We get our fair share of crime-fighting gadgets here in the ‘shop. Grappling hooks come and go in waves, and lightsabers are always popular. We’ve seen Iron Man-style repulsers, and plenty of Batman-inspired costume pieces. There’s a foam samurai getup on one of the dress forms, and I myself am guilty of making a magazine-paper broadsword and plate armor combo. Usability is a huge factor when you
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Playing with Gears

I was asked by a fellow teacher to create something that facilitates the exploration of gears.  Gears can be tricky for children to understand, so I thought it was a great challenge! After an extremely informal brainstorming session with Christian, I came up with this activity.  I have to thank Christian for passing by during the day and suggesting that I use tacks and foam.  The gears were donated by someone, the fo
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Prototyping New Programs

The MAKESHOP staff likes to prototype our programming.  Sometimes this step can be the most fun part of developing new activities for our visitors.  Our theme for the month of September is “Books and Bags.”  We set out at the end of August to figure the best ways for visitors to create these two things.  Along with the best ways for the Teaching Artists to teach other people how to make books and bags. We
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Music in the MAKESHOP

Our theme for the month of August is sound and music. We have been encouraging visitors to create musical instruments, but the staff has been having a blast creating some instruments of our own. A family came in a couple of days ago and wanted to try and make a pair of harps. I have never made a harp before, so it was a little challenging to figure this project out. It can sometimes be difficult to make something for
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