Home > exhibits, Indiana, Indianapolis, Indy, museums, things to do > “How People Make Things” Opens Jan. 22 @indianamuseum

“How People Make Things” Opens Jan. 22 @indianamuseum

By Marc Allan
Indiana State Museum

INDIANAPOLIS – Every object in our world has a story of how it is made. How People Make Things, a new exhibit opening at the Indiana State Museum on Jan. 22, 2022, tells that story by linking familiar childhood objects to a process of manufacturing that combines people, ideas and technology.

The traveling exhibit from Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh is included with museum admission – $17 for adults, $16 for seniors 60 and older, $15 for college students and $12 for youth ages 3-17. For more information, visit indianamuseum.org or call (317) 232-1637. The exhibit closes on May 15, 2022.

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.  

How People Make Things offers hands-on activities using real factory tools and machines to create objects using four manufacturing processes – molding, cutting, deforming, and assembly. Visitors can 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 into a spring shape by winding it around the metal shaft, mold spoons using real melted wax, assemble a trolley and test your 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. 

“We’re excited to bring ‘How People Make Things’ to the Indiana State Museum,” said Bethany Thomas, vice president of programs and education engagement. “This exhibit celebrates the people, the manufacturing processes and the technology used to make objects we use every day.”

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.  

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