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Chair + Lights = ?

The month of December is over and our GLOW theme is done, but that doesn’t mean that we are not still trying to add lights to anything and everything in MAKESHOP.  After spending an entire month playing with lights and creating all kinds of switches, I decided that it would be really cool to make a chair that lights up when you sit on it. I started working on a really rough prototype that used some LED lights,
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Circuit block progression

I recently noticed that I have greatly changed my facilitation methods for circuit blocks. When I first started at MAKESHOP, I ran circuit blocks like a demonstration. I’d show kids how each of the various types of components worked, and then ask if they wanted to play with any of them. This didn’t last long as a style, because a good number of kids would be bored by the end of the experience, or intimidated by the n
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Re-purposing Old Parts

I decided to drastically change the xylophone that I built for MAKESHOP.  While prototyping some ideas with a group of preschool students, some teachers and I noticed that they really enjoy filling up containers and dumping them out.  They also really like to put things through holes and fit different size pieces together.  I was unofficially commissioned to create a simple prototype that would allow our youngest vis
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Family Fun

Ty and his sister spent a lot of time exploring animation.  Actually, their entire family spent a lot of time exploring all of MAKESHOP.  Their older brother was fascinated with the loom and spent most of his time weaving.  Their siblings also had a blast exploring light painting.  We experimented a lot with different light sources and different movement techniques.  This family was such a joy.  They were really open
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Stop-Motion…What else can it do?

We are still continuing to test our stop-motion prototype.  I tried out a couple of different techniques using our current setup.  I was able to rig the camera into a position that allows it to see the entire MAKESHOP.  We made a pretty simple animation of Nick while he was cleaning up one of the tables.  Experimenting with animation in this manner is pretty fun.  Plus, it makes the person you are animating look real
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Putting Gears on the Wall

My gear prototype has now gone vertical. A project is never finished, you can always change something or introduce a new variable.  I decided to try out our gear setup in a different location in the MAKESHOP.  I ended up mounting the entire structure to the wall with some hangers, zip-ties, and magnets. I don’t like it when things stay the same for too long.  I love experimenting and observing what happens when
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