Project Spotlight: Making Fabric Out of…What?

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Once upon a time, the world was abundant with magical rectangular boxes that, when popped into an even bigger rectangular box, would make movies appear on the screen. This technology fairy tale had a good run for over three decades, but now VHS tapes are akin to old silverware that everyone keeps but never uses. They sit in the dusty confines of our bookcases and back closets, gathering age and dirt and never seeing the light of day… Cassette Tape Prototyping-8 …until now. Maker Space Resident Sharon cracked open several old VHS cassettes and weaved the magnetic tape into a fabric-like pattern. Cassette Tape Prototyping-8 The simple pattern starts off humbly with a few strands, but eventually grows into something like this: Cassette Tape Prototyping-7 One side of the finished “fabric” is covered in clear tape to lock the magnetic tape in place. Cassette Tape Prototyping-4 Once the edges are snipped off, the finished product looks like this: Cassette Tape Prototyping-2 Multiple patches of the fabric can be made and taped together to create VHS tape sweaters, skirts, and even. Check back for pictures of these clothing prototypes in the coming weeks. And for now, admire these glorious strands of decades past: Cassette Tape Prototyping-10

Where else could you just stumble upon carts full of sparkly spray paint and hunks of wood? All this is in preparation for this week’s Tool Shed Maker Academy, taught by none other than Reid, the Maker Space Coordinator! Students will have the opportunity to break out the saws, hammers, and - most importantly - safety glasses, as they build their own wooden creations from the ground up. Check back throughout the week for more pictures from the Tool Shed Make Academy!

8 Quirkiest Maker Space Moments of the Week

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8. You know that Maker Space is hosting a party when the music is blasting out of something that looks like this. For the End-of-Summer Maker Corps Celebration, we showcased our prototype acoustic speakers, made entirely of wood and temporarily held together by plastic clamps.

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7. Our Maker Bot 3D printer is one of our favorite tools to use in the office. And here is Explainer Megan posing with one of the most recent pieces to come out of the printer: a small-scale figure of David Wells’ head. Aptly enough, he is the head of Creative Learning and Making here at NY Sci. (Pun intended!)

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6. Halfway into peeling the first crayon in preparation for our Melted Crayon Art workshop, we realized there had to be a better way. As Explainer Justin illustrates, all it takes is a box cutter and some careful positioning. Just make a shallow angled cut straight down the crayon, and watch the wrapper slip off with ease. No more brightly-colored wax stuck beneath your fingernails!

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5. How many Makers does it take to pretend-eat a plastic horse? Taken at our Stop-Motion Animation Creation workshop.

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4. This cute prankster shows us how to perform the perfect photobomb, Maker Space-style.

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3. Listening to all that music through our wooden acoustic speakers inspired us to do this after the End-of-Summer Celebration. We made an airworm! You read that right - a giant plastic tube huge enough to fill the entire Design Zone exhibit floor from corner to corner.

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2. At the end of a long day, just do what Maker Corps member Janet does and chill out with a pair of plastic legs. You know, no big deal.

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1. Looks like Maker Space Coordinator Reid sums it up in just one word.

Want a glimpse into the inner workings of Maker Space? Journey over to our Flickr page, updated regularly throughout the week. And don’t forget to check Tumblr every Friday for the latest Maker Space Moments of the Week!

Workshop Spotlight: Laser Cut Creations

Laser Cutter

That’s not just any blue and white metal box. It’s one of the newest tools to strut its way into the Maker Space - a brand new laser cutter, capable of etching its way into wood, plastic, metal, and plenty more.

Laser Cutter

To celebrate the arrival of the long-awaited contraption, we hosted several Laser Cut Creations Workshops as part of our summer programming.

Summer Sampler

Participants draw designs on index cards, then scan their drawings into a computer using special software. The designs are then sent electronically to the laser cutter.

Summer Sampler

Makers can watch their 2D index card doodles come to life in the 3D world, as the fiery laser etches each line and curve into a sheet of wood before their very eyes.

Summer Sampler

The results look something like this:

Summer Sampler

Not to mention, the laser cut wood fills the Maker Space with that toasty campfire smell that’ll bring back memories from back in the day…

Summer Sampler

Of course, every new workshop comes with its challenges. Sometimes, for example, our laser cutter has just a little bit too much personality:

Laser Cutter

As our summer programming comes to an end, we’re planning to iron out the kinks in the Laser Cut Creations Workshop in the interim. We look forward to presenting a seamless version of the activity in the fall!

To check out more photos from recent Laser Cut Creations Workshops, head on over to our Flickr page!

Young makers take clay modeling to a whole new level in our Sculpey Sculpting workshop! Kids carve designs into plaster discs and then imprint their drawings into Sculpey clay. From refrigerator magnets to necklace charms, and much, much more, the options are unlimited. Participants can challenge the bounds of their imagination to make new pieces that are both functional and artistic.

The twist? We oven-bake the pressed clay in a toaster oven. After just fifteen minutes, everyone’s creations emerge from the oven, ready to wear or display!

A giant “airworm” ran through the New York Hall of Science exhibits last Friday as part of our End-of-Summer Maker Corps celebration!

This was a completely impromptu project that we were inspired to make after exploring the odds and ends in our office. With a simple box fan and a roll of painter’s plastic, you can make an airworm at home and wear this smile on your face:

A giant “airworm” ran through the New York Hall of Science exhibits last Friday as part of our End-of-Summer Maker Corps celebration!

Maker Corps End-of-Summer Celebration! 08-09-13-3

This was a completely impromptu project that we were inspired to make after exploring the odds and ends in our office. With a simple box fan and a roll of painter’s plastic, you can make an airworm at home and wear this smile on your face:

Maker Corps End-of-Summer Celebration! 08-09-13-1

One whiff of the Maker Space during our Melted Crayon Art workshop will bring back memories of elementary school art class and afternoons spent poring over coloring books. To create this workshop, we hacked some glue guns to accommodate crayons, allowing each Crayola color to melt into a pool of pure awesomeness.

Kids can grab their favorite colors, peel off the wrappers, feed the crayons into a hot glue gun, and style their own artwork on pieces of cardstock. The result is a wildly ingenious array of color splash creations that capture the eyes’ attention at first glance.

What better way to ring in the month of August than with our new Summer Sampler series? Every weekend, we feature a variety of hour-long workshops with themes ranging from Melted Crayon Art to Stop-Motion Animation Creation, to Sculpey Sculpting…and plenty more in between. Each session offers endless opportunities for kids and parents alike to get in tune with their creative side, and leave with their very own craft to show proudly to their friends!

Summer Sampler

Children bring paper puppets, figurines, and props to life in our Stop-Motion Animation Creation workshop! Parents and kids can work together at three different stations, featuring 2D (“top-down”) animation, 3D animation, and kinesthetic (full-body) animation. Participants can make their own characters and backgrounds out of paper, Legos, and other materials - or even wear costumes to make themselves the stars of the show.

Lego Man Stop-Motion Animation Still Shot

The possibilities are infinite as participants put together funny, dramatic, and sometimes even fantastical stories, one scene at a time on the open-source software Frame By Frame. Check out the innovative video above, made by a child in a recent workshop!

Maker Space is in the news!

David Wells, the Manager of Creative Learning and Making, was featured on Mashable.com for his work at the First Annual Google Geek Street Fair.
Also, check out Maker Corps member (pictured above) Jefferson Deng’s interview on Forbes, where he explains an interactive way of illustrating the science of sound waves. The clip begins at 1:25.

Image credit to Forbes.com

Maker Space is in the news!

David Wells, the Manager of Creative Learning and Making, was featured on Mashable.com for his work at the First Annual Google Geek Street Fair.


Also, check out Maker Corps member (pictured above) Jefferson Deng’s interview on Forbes, where he explains an interactive way of illustrating the science of sound waves. The clip begins at 1:25.

Image credit to Forbes.com

Just another day at the office, hacking into an R2D2 to add remote control servos and ultra-sonic sensors.

Just another day at the office, hacking into an R2D2 to add remote control servos and ultra-sonic sensors.

About

The Maker Space is a learning environment where children, teens, adults and families can tinker, design, and create together.

In our workshops we use real tools to make real things and re-use everyday materials in exciting ways. From woodworking and plaster casting to electronics and 3D printing, we encourage experimentation, open-ended exploration, and believe that making mistakes is a great way to learn.

Our workshops are hands on and can get messy, so when you come to a class, don't wear your favorite shirt!


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