This exhibit is a makerspace situated within the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh. Its one of the most popular and well-visited sites in the museum as it provides interaction and learning experiences not found in the rest of the building.
A makerspace (also referred to as a fab lab or a hackspace) is essentially a DIY workshop where visitors learn through doing. They are located in museums, schools, and even libraries. Activities can differ between makerspaces and their location but usually are derived from traditional crafts, art, engineering, science, and computer science.
The Teaching Artists (faculty members with backgrounds in education, art, science, and/or engineering) who run the makerspace design its activities around a special topic of the month, looks to provide a good mixture of the subjects mentioned above, and allows children of all ages work with tools one would find in an adult work space. For example, a three year old (with adult supervision of course) could try their hand at soldering. The activities provided are aimed to focus more on process then product and after a guest’s session is done, they are encouraged to take their project home to continue working on. Sometimes guests will even bring them back on their next visit to share their progress!
This is truly a unique educational environment with a different (yet still effective) focus on learning.
Click here to visit their website for more information.
Other makerspaces located within Pittsburgh:
Fab Lab Carnegie Science Center
Not in Pittsburgh? Click here to find one near you!