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Andrew’s Shield

Andrew is an interesting visitor. He typically has a plan for exactly what he wants to do or make at the Museum. The really fascinating thing is that his projects typically span the course of several visits to the Museum. He brings his projects back to improve them or build newer versions. He has a real knack for prototyping. This particular project was a Plasma Beam Shield. He worked on it one day and took it home.
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Circuit Experiments

We have been working on some new circuit block prototypes lately. Christian is working on a motorized generator that is constructed out of an old bike. Nick built a really cool circuit puzzle using conductive tape. These projects have really got us thinking about the future possibilities of our circuit blocks. I attempted to build a matching game that utilized circuits… still working on that. I did, however, cr
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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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Robot Fabrication

Robots are a common theme here at MAKESHOP. We have robot sculptures overlooking our area. We live in what is ostensibly the robot capital of America. On her last day, one of our summer interns made a robot pillow to remember us by. Robots are, let’s face it, just plain awesome. Unfortunately, they also get repetitive after a while, which is why I’m always excited to see a new twist on the ‘bot buil
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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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MakerBot in MAKESHOP

We have a new toy in MAKESHOP — a MakerBot Replicator 3D printer! It’s on loan to us from the Entertainment Technology Center at Carnegie Mellon University, and we finally broke it out to play with it! Calling this machine a “printer” isn’t entirely accurate: this isn’t a printer like the one on the corner of your desk or even like the fancy-schmancy ones at the copy shop. This is
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