Meet the Makers at ACM

12 04 2013

The time has finally come! On Sunday, May 5, Austin Children’s Museum will be participating in the 2013 Austin Mini Maker Faire. The event will be held at the Palmer Events Center from 10am -6pm.

What is Mini Maker Faire? It’s a community-oriented learning event where families and individuals are brought together to showcase any and all Do-It-Yourself projects. Maker Faire is arranged in a show-and-tell format, allowing makers to connect by showing what they’ve made and sharing what they’ve learned.

Credit: Austin Mini Maker Faire

Credit: Austin Mini Maker Faire

Every Sunday at ACM, we welcome this year’s Makers to show off their stuff and answer any questions. A special guest leads the activity as Makers do different DIY activities to prepare for the upcoming event.

Last week at Meet the Makers, we had fun making our own soap from scratch!

On Sunday, April 14, join the Makers from Austin Mini Maker Faire Craft division and design a beautiful denim crown to wear home. Burnadette Noll will be attending as our special guest and she will have everything you need to stitch and create a unique upcycled crown. Show the world that you are the King or Queen of your very own universe and come meet the Makers to get excited for Mini Maker Faire on May 5!


Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!

24 02 2012

With the new movie The Lorax being released on March 2nd 2012, the date that would have been Dr Seuss’ 108th birthday, we thought we’d take a closer look at the issues that the movie is trying to tell us about.

The story, originally published in 1971, pays great attention to how the environment is being damaged in order to make other things. Trees, truffula trees in this case, are being chopped down  to make clothing and carpet. In real life, trees do get cut down every day, even if we don’t see it happening.

The Lorax shows us how every action causes a reaction. In this case, because the trees are being cut down, the other characters in the book are not able to eat because it is the trees that grow their food. With no trees, there will be no food.

It is also mentioned that because of the factory being built to create more items from the trees, the birds are being effected – they cannot sing and have to fly much further away to get out of the smog.

In the final section of the book, the lorax shows how the water around the factory is also being harmed by the chemicals that are thrown out of the factory. The images also show the amount of damage that factories can cause to the environment. In this particular case, fish are jumping and climbing out of the oil filled pond as quickly as they can.

So in the end, The Lorax is trying to get you to think about how your actions are affecting the environment, and what you could do to help the environment.

Do you recycle?

Recycling is a great way to start helping the environment! Start by cleaning up your room and recycling everything that you don’t need or use anymore.

Here is a short list of just some of the things that can be recycled:

  • Aluminum cans
  • Cardboard
  • Glass bottles and jars
  • Magazines
  • Metal
  • Newspapers
  • Paper
  • Plastic bags
  • Plastic bottles
  • Steel cans

These are items that would will find everyday in your own house. Just find yourself a large box/bin to place all these items when you are finished with them. You could even decorate the large box and label it ‘Recycling‘ so that even visitors can see that you are trying to help the environment.

But other than recycling, how else can you help the environment?

  • Walk or cycle to school
  • Take shorter showers
  • Make sure all lights are switched off when they are not needed
  • Reuse water bottles etc, instead of throwing them away once you’re done.

Earth Day Crafts

22 04 2011

Today is Earth Day where we celebrate this planet by being more aware of our effects on the environment. Here are a few fun crafts you can do to be more eco-friendly!

You can reuse a plastic milk jug to create a a watering can for your garden. Just clean out the jug, poke a whole in the plastic at the top, fill it with water and screw on the top. You can decorate your jug with markers, stickers or paint.

You can also decorate your own reusable canvas bags to take to store.

Another fun craft is making your own compost. Take a big bin and add a few inches of clean potting soil. You can also add dry leaves or small pieces of black and white newspaper to the soil. Throw vegetable and fruit scraps in, and you have officially started your compost pile! Add a layer of moist matter and a layer of dry matter to the top of the compost pile. Be sure to turn the contents of your compost pile every 4 to 5 days.

Design Challenge of the Week!

26 01 2011

This week  is installation week at the Museum, so admission is half off! But, there is still plenty of fun to be had, like in our Tinkerer’s work shop. Come in and do the design challenge of the week, or make something at home and let us know what you did by leaving us a comment.

Last week’s design challenge:  Can you make an animal out of a cardboard tube?

These are a couple animals kids at the museum made! Also, check out these cardboard tube people that visitors a couple weeks ago created!

This week’s design challenge is: Can you engineer an object that helps you hear better?

You could make a hearing-helper here at the Museum or with objects you have at home.

Recycled card

8 05 2010

For my second gift for Mother’s Day, I made my mom a recycled card with my flowers. Because I’m using recycled materials, I am helping the environment and saving money.

I used recycled wallpaper, wrapping paper and construction paper, glue, and scissors.

Because the wallpaper is thicker than construction paper, I used it as the structure of the card.

Then I took my recycled wrapping paper and glued it to the wallpaper card and cut around it.

Then I took the recycled construction paper and decorated the front. My recycled card is ready to be delivered with my colored flowers!

Eco-friendly City

22 04 2010

Today is Earth Day, when we celebrate our planet by being more eco-friendly towards it. Last weekend when I was in San Francisco, I was thinking about Earth Day and noticed that they separate almost all of their trash into recycling or garbage.

I also noticed that they have stations where electric cars can recharge instead of using gasoline.

San Francisco is one of many cities that tries to keep Earth Day going everyday. To show your appreciation of the Earth in your city, check out these tips.

New uses for old utensils

19 04 2010

Now there are no excuses for throwing away those old or damaged kitchen utensils! You could bend old metal spoons and forks into something useful, like this key rack on the DesignSponge blog:

Or you could save up old plastic utensils to make an amazing sculpture, like Sayaka Kajita Ganz does:

What cool, recycled project could YOU make?