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Maker Faire 2013

  The third Pittsburgh Mini-Maker Faire was held in September here at the Museum, presented with HackPGH.  As always, it was a lot of fun.  I spent most of my time in MAKESHOP drawing with robots and teaching people how to solder.  But I did get a chance to see all of the fun inventions and ideas that the makers were presenting. There was a really neat frisbee throwing robot that always had willing participants to ca
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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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Pinball

Lauren, one of our Maker Corps Members, shows off one of our summer projects: While the month of June was themed “cardboard arcade”, there was one game that has lived through many iterations over these summer months, and that is the pinball machine.  While Christian made the basic body of the machine, it was a collaboration between Teaching Artists and visitors who added on the essential components: flipp
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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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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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