“How People Make Things” opens at the Cade Museum on May 22

Press release from the Cade Museum

Every object in our world has a story of how it is made. How People Make Things, a new traveling exhibit opening at the Cade Museum on May 22, 2021, 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. 

Visitors can use a die cutter to make a box and a horse; cut wax using different sculpting tools; deform a wire by twisting a straight wire into a spring shape by winding it around a metal shaft; mold spoons using real melted wax; assemble a trolley; and test their skills on the testing track.

“This exhibit brings children close to the real stuff, the nuts and bolts of how products are manufactured, which is very easy to feel removed from these days,” says Jane Werner, Executive Director of the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh.  “Through his factory tours, Fred Rogers took complex issues and made them simple and direct so children could understand them and relate them to their own lives.  He made manufacturing fascinating and inspirational, and we continue that tradition with How People Make Things.”

The factory tour videos from the Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood television series featured in the exhibit depict the making of crayons, carousel horses, balls, stop lights, quarters, shoes, toy cars, and toy wagons.

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How People Make Things was created by 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. 

How People Make Things can be viewed Fridays-Sundays 12 p.m.-5 p.m. at the Cade Museum for Creativity and Invention, 811 S. Main St., Gainesville. General admission is $12.50; youth ages 5-17, $7.50; children ages 0-4 get in free; seniors and college students only pay $10, and Cade Museum members get in free. Visit cademuseum.org for more information.