This week we got to meet with Rebecca Grabman, our contact at Makeshop, and to really dig into the heart of this project. We are creating an app for use in Makeshop that will teach kids about the connections between ideas, stuff, and processes, and inspire them to create things with their own hands. It should also serve as a wiki for kids who are more self-directed, or as a teaching aid or reminder for kids new to a process.
We also interviewed Lauren, Derrick and Kevin, three employees at Makeshop, to get their individual views on what the app should do, what would help them the most, and what the average experience of a child in Makeshop actually is.
Finally, we brainstormed for several days about the shape our app should take and began designing the interactions list and a prototype interface.
Team at Makeshop with Lisa
We are Six Tinkers, a project for the Makeshop at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh to create an app that inspires young children to build things with their own hands. The Children’s Museum’s design philosophy is “Play with Real Stuff”, and at the Makeshop, children have access to hundreds of tools, tons of material, and unlimited inspiration in the form of museum curators to help them imagine and create new things on their own. However, with so much opportunity, it can be difficult for someone to just “begin to create”. We have been tasked with building an app that helps kids get creating through one of the Makeshop’s three entry points: ideas, stuff, and processes.
The first week of every ETC Project is very similar. Our team met for the first time officially on Monday morning, and we began putting our team room together. We organized the room, ordered supplies, assembled furniture and generally got to know each other.
We also talked about roles and responsibilities; this is the first project for several of our members and we don’t want anything about the project process to be a surprise for them.
On Friday, we visited the Makeshop as a team and talked to Lisa Brahms, the Director of Learning and Research, about the needs of the Museum. Afterward we toured the rest of the Museum to get a feel for the personality of the institution. This quickly devolved into the six of us running around and playing with our favorite exhibits. With new discoveries and wonders around every corner, the museum definitely makes you feel like you are eight years old again.