Founded in 1983, the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh has more than 30 years of experience providing innovative learning experiences for children and families and serving as partner and a resource for people who work with or on behalf of children. With 80,000 square feet of exhibition space the Museum welcomes more than 306,000 visitors annually and provides rich learning experiences with “real stuff”. Permanent hands-on, interactive exhibit areas at the Museum include The Studio, Theater, Waterplay, Attic, Nursery, Backyard and MAKESHOP®.

Developed in partnership with Carnegie Mellon University’s Entertainment Technology Center (ETC) and the University of Pittsburgh Center for Learning in Out of School Environments (UPCLOSE), MAKESHOP, the Children’s Museum’s makerspace, is a permanent 1,800 square foot exhibit space dedicated to nurturing informal learning opportunities and research-based understanding at the intersection of the digital and the physical. Since opening the MAKESHOP in 2011, CMP has played a major role in furthering understanding about making as a learning process in both formal and informal learning environments through ongoing work at the intersection of learning research and practice.

Their resources include:

  • Making Spaces toolkit: Developed in partnership with Maker Ed, this toolkit is a suite of resources and tools that schools can use to support fundraising efforts and the integration of making into schools and educational spaces across the country.


  • Making + Learning: A framework to support learning in museum and library makerspaces. The project aims to help educators and designers of learning experiences identify and grow the conditions for learning within making experiences.


  • Learning Practices of Making: These Learning Practices of Making serve as observable behaviors of learners in MAKESHOP.  The practices were developed collaboratively between the educators of MAKESHOP and researchers at the museum.