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Field Trip: Andrew Bayne Memorial Library

  First things first: The Andrew Bayne Memorial Library is an absolutely beautiful building.  I had the opportunity to visit this amazing location with our new Maker Corps Members (Sam, Lauren, Lindsay and Nick).  The library is located in an old mansion which is surrounded by a lovely park.  The entire second floor is dedicated to children’s education, and that’s where we spent the majority of our t
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Laser cutting for anyone

Anyone can do it… A typical day at work in MAKESHOP can be hard to predict.  A couple of days ago, I was taught how to use a laser cutter. An amazing team of students from Carnegie Mellon University’s Entertainment Technology Center spent an entire semester developing an iPad app to allow someone like me to do something like use a laser cutter. Some days I deal with a loom, and other days I deal with lase
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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  He brought with him a newer version of the flight simulator software that he is currently developing for the Shaler School
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Harrison, the teacher

Harrison is a regular visitor to the Museum and has been mentioned before in this blog here.  A couple of days ago, he visited MAKESHOP with an agenda.  He needed help soldering some components.  I can certainly help someone solder something, but Harrison really helped me understand what it means to turn your imagination into reality. Harrison planned on creating a remote control for his room.  He was planning to hoo
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Indian Scouts and shopbots

I had the opportunity to teach a Saturday workshop about electricity to a group of Indian Scouts.  The group consisted of fifteen kindergartners and fifteen dads.  I’m not sure who had more fun… me, the kids, or the dads. I think the dads did.  I gave the group the challenge to use some motors and batteries to make something… anything.  As usual, there was no right or wrong.  My only instruction was
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Interactive Fiction

We’ve been running a series of Sunday afternoon demonstrations of computer programming using Inform 7, which is a programming language for creating stories that you can play like a game.  Visitors learned about using nouns and verbs to navigate story  games, then about how to write code to make their very own story worlds.  We used an online version of Inform 7 called Playfic, which allows you to write and play
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