How People Make Things

Every object in our world has a story of how it is made. How People Make Things, a traveling exhibit opening May 28, 2022, at the EcoTarium, tells that story by linking familiar childhood objects to a process of manufacturing that combines people, ideas, and technology.

How People Make Things, inspired by the factory tour segments from the Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood television series, offers hands-on activities using real factory tools and machines to create objects with four manufacturing processes – molding, cutting, deforming, and assembly. Many common manufactured products help tell the story of how people, ideas, and technology transform raw materials into finished products.

Hands-on activities using real factory tools and machines include:

  • Use a die cutter to make a box and a horse
  • Cut wax using different sculpting tools
  • Deform a wire by taking a straight wire and making it a spring shape
  • Mold spoons using real melted wax
  • Assemble a trolley and test your skills on the testing track

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Exhibit is included with admission.

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How People Make Things was created by the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh in collaboration with Family Communications, Inc. (FCI), the producer of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, and the University of Pittsburgh Center for Learning in Out-of-School Environments (UPCLOSE). The exhibit was made possible with support from the National Science Foundation and The Grable Foundation.