How People Make Things — A Traveling Exhibition

July 1st, 2004 - December 31st, 2008 | PROJECT

The Pittsburgh Children's Museum (PCM) is developing a 2,700 sq ft traveling exhibition, "How People Make Things," in collaboration with Family Communications, the producers of "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood." The exhibition will use the factory visit segments from this popular television program, the longest running on PBS, as a jumping off point for engaging children in the processes by which familiar objects are manufactured. PCM is building on its prior success with "Design It!," an after-school program funded by a prior NSF grant. This project extends that work to expose children to the hidden science and technology that form the basis for manufacturing. The exhibition will include the Neighborhood Factory orientation area and sections on Making Things: Designing Things, Forming Things (Additive, Subtractive, Deformational), and Assembling Things. Project collaborators include members of the Carnegie Mellon University Industrial and Engineering Design program and the University of Pittsburgh Learning Research and Development Center UPCLOSE. Broader Impact: The exhibition is projected to reach at least 750,000 visitors in nine museum venues through its nationwide tour; the target audience is families with children ages 3 to 10. Promotion and dissemination will be enhanced by the connection with PBS, which continues to air the "Mister Roger's Neighborhood" program. Partnerships with the AFL-CIO, Catalyst Communications, and Society of Manufacturing Engineers will extend the outreach effort. Special efforts will be made to target girls and underserved audiences.

Project Website(s)

(no project website provided)

Project Products

How People Make Things Summative Evaluation

Team Members

Jane Werner, Principal Investigator, Pittsburgh Children's Museum
Penny Lodge, Co-Principal Investigator, Pittsburgh Children's Museum
Ross Chapman, Former Co-Principal Investigator, Pittsburgh Children's Museum
Marti Louw, Former Co-Principal Investigator, Children's Museum of Pittsburgh


Funding Source: NSF
Funding Program: ISE/AISL
Award Number: 0407355
Funding Amount: 1552571


Access and Inclusion: Low Socioeconomic Status | Women and Girls
Audience: Elementary School Children (6-10) | Families | Museum | ISE Professionals | Pre-K Children (0-5)
Discipline: Engineering | Nature of science | Technology
Resource Type: Project Descriptions
Environment Type: Exhibitions | Museum and Science Center Exhibits