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tinker

A family’s prototype

Here is a quick story about an amazing pair of makers that spent an entire Saturday working on a single idea, which was “What can you do with a mousetrap?” When I joined this father and son team, they were already under production with their creation: a mousetrap car.  Apparently the dad saw that we had a couple of mousetraps in a jar on a shelf and his son remembered something that he saw that involved a
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Inside the Sewing Machine

Over the winter holidays, we did a lot of take-apart here at the museum. Tons of old audio equipment, toys, printers… and a sewing machine! I had a great team of four kids helping me get that stubborn front off. It really didn’t want to go! We recently replaced this machine with a newer one, and thought we’d keep the old one around to help explain what’s happening on the inside. You can move y
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Exploring and Inventing

Who are inventors? Anyone can be an inventor… Most people probably picture an inventor as someone in a laboratory working with a bunch of complex machines. When I think of inventors, I picture anyone willing to try out something new. Kids are great at inventing things. Case in point: Usman and his “Spinny Thing”. Usman spent a lot of time in the MAKESHOP. He really enjoyed experimenting with our cir
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Prototyping with Visitors

Here’s some footage of our first attempt to make kaleidoscopes with visitors. Anyone can look up a project online and assume that people will enjoy it. I’m the kind of person who needs to get the opinions of visitors before I believe that an activity is worth doing. Plus, I really enjoy having the opportunity to teach something new. In this case, we were testing out the kaleidoscope activity we had modifi
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