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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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Another Gear Idea

Derek, a new employee at the Museum and a local teacher in Pittsburgh, presented a great idea to me a couple of days ago.  He wants to make a mechanical version of our circuit blocks.  He thinks that it is important to utilize various types of gears to create blocks that visitors can connect together to further explore mechanization.  To explain this concept only in words is very confusing. A couple of Sundays ago, D
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Dream Flight Adventures

MAKESHOP was recently transformed into an interactive spaceship.  Gary Gardner and his Dream Flight Adventures prototype returned to MAKESHOP for another day of playtesting with our visitors.  He has already playtested his program at the Museum and a post describing that visit can be found here.  He brought with him a newer version of the flight simulator software that he is currently developing for the Shaler School
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