We started off the last day of class with an in depth discussion of how we could safely test out the Crane, considering the extra weight and hazards a moving 5 gallon bucket of water through a shop creates. We established a Ready Call System, a Safety Boundary, Rotating Job Titles and a stack of towels.
We had an amazing last day of welding! It is truly wonderful to see how much the children have grown in their abilities. From barely knowing about welding to feeling comfortable and creative with welding, each of the children have developed literally before our eyes.
In the second to last week of the crane build, Tinkerers worked on fine details of the crane tower and container.
Today was the second to last session of After School Welding, and for many of the Tinkerers, this meant refining their projects, and doing some metal skills leveling up.
Last week, a few folks suddenly became interested in the possibility of bending metal. We set up a vise on the deck, and got some really long wrenches out to demonstrate how levers can assist in multiplying human strength to bend steel. This week, I promised that we would make the task even easier.
Today our goal was to be able to test the Crane out by the end of the day. To do that we needed to finish our swiveling plan, insert a pulley system between the arm and the hook, and because those things were so small and complex, we decided to make a car to pull our container to it's final destination!
We had a fabulous Friday welding session with lots of creative ideas and enthusiastic children. Along with welding, children bent metal to use on their projects.
Alex and Lee collaborated on bending a piece of metal. It was good to see them supporting each other without being instructed which is one of our goals.
Violet took a simple idea of welding a v-shape 6 times and combine them to make a star.
Corey has really developed his skills from week one til now. Patiently setting himself up with the proper posture, he took his time and focused on doing the best job he could.
After a week off, the Tinkerers came back ready for action. We started with an opening circle to identify the final steps needed to complete our crane project. We put our heads together and set-up our priorities.
Chloe started by attaching rope to the crane arm.
We clamped the arm on top of the tower for a trial run. The rope successfully pulled up a bucket with a bowling ball inside. By doing this we identified that we needed to attach handles onto the opposite end of the arm to make the lifting motion easier.
So the kids set forth to design and build a handle. To do this they drilled a 1/2" hole to fit a steel rod. Then they attached 2x3 blocks along the handle to keep it sturdy.
The other half of the group worked on attaching a spool holder for the rope and creating a deck on top of the tower that would securely hold the swiveling crane arm.
Happy Valentines Day!
We Love tinkering!
Today we jumped right into our projects! Above Sadie practices her weld with tools in each gloved hand. Basically we are training up astronauts over here.
Ava finished up her exploration of prisms and decided to make something practical she can use: Tree-climbing spikes! She did a little research at the computer and drew up her design. Hopefully we'll get to do some leather working for straps in a couple classes!
Jackson finished the bridge he's been working on, while Alex kept thinking of more and more things to add on to his tank. At the end of class we discovered that Alex accidentally gave the tank axles that can adjust to roll across all types of terrain, including custom built metal bridges!