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tinkering

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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Teenagers and Shopbots

The Museum sees a lot of visitors every week.  Most of them are under five years old, but every week during the school year, a group of 6-8th grade students visit the Museum for our after-school program, YouthALIVE! These students visit MAKESHOP about once a month. We try to give them design challenges to help them to be creative and persistent.  A few weeks ago, we decided to introduce them to circuits and then give
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Kai’s Invention

Kai is a regular visitor of the Museum.  He is the kind of visitor who really enjoys tinkering with anything and everything.  On this particular day, we were experimenting with making light-up cards using copper tape and LEDs.  Kai was very interested in exploring what could be done with the copper tape and a piece of paper.  He already had some knowledge of circuitry, so he was able to understand the idea of connect
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Glowing Bots!

Every month we have a theme that helps us to decide on new activities for MAKESHOP.  We spent the month of December making projects and exploring materials that GLOW.  We had glow-in-the-dark fabric, UV LEDs, lots of holiday lights, light painting, and some glow-in-the-dark paint.  I had the brilliant idea to combine some of the GLOW activities with a ShopBot (what we call basically anything with a motor attached to
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Aircraft Carrier

Joseph was a really fun kid to meet.  He was one of those visitors who seemed to fit right in at MAKESHOP.  He didn’t know exactly what he wanted to create, but he came to a decision after he spent some time tinkering and exploring the materials.  He first tinkered around with lighting up small LEDs with batteries.  He eventually created a really cool switch using a single paper clip.  After he was done explori
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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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