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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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A Miniature Museum

A couple of weeks ago we built a really big and a really interesting cardboard city in MAKESHOP.  The one thing the city was missing was a cardboard version of the Museum. A collaboration between Derek, Alison and myself helped create this miniature version of one of the most fun places in Pittsburgh.  I especially had fun creating a small version of Ned Kahn’s Cloud Arbor which resides in the new Buhl Park out
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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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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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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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CD Spin Art

Here is a great example of a visitor taking an existing exhibit piece and making it so much more fun.  This visitor turned our circuit blocks into an art project.  We were exploring the different circuit blocks and when we got to the block that contains an old CD drive I was asked if we had any CDs to test on it.  It just so happens that we have a bunch of old or ruined CD’s in one of our storage cabinets.  I g
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