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prototype

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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Field Trip: CC Mellor Memorial Library

This summer my fellow Teaching Artists and I will be visiting schools and libraries all around Pittsburgh and the surrounding areas to conduct workshops, help teachers and generally having fun.  I have decided to document all of my adventures here on the blog. My first trip was to the lovely CC Mellor Memorial Library in Edgewood.  I teach afterschool classes near this library, but I never have had a chance to visit.
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Design and prototype

Sometimes, we can find some really cool stuff in the Museum’s basement. Our basement serves as one of the exhibit workshops, so many of the materials were at one point used for prototyping or repairing exhibits. For example, this acrylic dome. It was originally used as a prototype for our newly renovated Waterplay exhibit.  Now, it is being used to develop a new magnet activity in MAKESHOP. You can’t move
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