Tinkering School

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Roving Vehicles - Week 7-8 - Boys & Girls Clubs - Willie Mays Clubhouse

Vehicles (Fall 2018), B&GCLub - WM (Fall 2018)Brendon BellComment

THE GRAND FINALE!!! Our last two weeks at Willie Mays were a blast! Not only did we work hard, but we played even harder with our finished roving vehicles. Check out our progress!

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Over the past 8 weeks our tinkerers learned a lot about using different power tools, steering mechanisms, and how to collaborate together on big, challenging projects.

Richae, Keyonie and Jadya finished attaching the front axle and wheels. Smiles all around :)

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Meanwhile, another vehicle was nearing completion… it’s as long as a bobsled!

 Chelsea and E’mya climb on board the bobsled!

Chelsea and E’mya climb on board the bobsled!

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George and Ju’Darius finish some final touches before it’s time to attach the steering wheel.

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Douglas puts on the finishing touches and its time to ride!

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Our motorized vehicle team also worked super hard to complete their awesome rover.

 A high powered drill was attached to some gears to provide forward momentum.

A high powered drill was attached to some gears to provide forward momentum.

 A seat back is an important piece to add when you’re driving at warp speed!

A seat back is an important piece to add when you’re driving at warp speed!

 We did it!

We did it!

After eight weeks of hard work and lots of fun, it was time to officially test ride our roving vehicles and show them off to parents, siblings and other guests! Whoohoo!!!

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It’s been an incredible tinkering session! Thank you Willie Mays tinkerers for bringing your enthusiasm, creativity, hard work, and can do spirit! When we collaborate on big projects, just look at all the amazing things we can learn and accomplish along the way!

Zoooom zoom!

To check out more photos of all the fun, don’t forget to visit our Flickr page :-)

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Flying Dragons - Week 7-8

Flying Dragons (Fall2018)Julie PeriComment

It’s a bird, it’s a plane, no…it’s a flying dragon. With a final push in the last two weeks, all three dragons took flight and delivered the egg to its nest.

On the Baby Harley team Juliana and Tommy added supports to their dragon’s neck and head.

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Hello?

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Building dragons is not possible without having fun along the way :-)

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On the dragon you ride in team, Olivia focused on attaching the dragon head.

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 Peter discovered that clamps are great for attaching perpendicular pieces.

Peter discovered that clamps are great for attaching perpendicular pieces.

Meanwhile, Asher added wings to the dragon you ride under team’s dragon.

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After Asher was done with that, he and August added screw supports for the structural safety of their dragon, on both the underbelly and the neck.

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Then - before we all knew it the final day was here! We did a couple of safety tests then we soared across the school in our dragons.

The under team went first, with Katie on board to test, and…it worked!

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Caulder tested the fire dropping mechanism on his team’s dragon while loading up the next tinkerer on board.

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Each team got to ride on their own dragon. Jackson, used his team’s egg catchment system successfully deliver the egg into the nest.

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Next up were the dragons you ride in team. Clay and Skylan rode together first, followed by Olivia and Adele, and Peter and Nick. All three pairs successfully dropped their egg into the nest as well!

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Last and certainly not lease, the Baby Harley team got their turn on the zipline. Hold on tight - this dragon goes fast!

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After a day of fun and successful dragon riding, our tenacious tinkerers went home knowing the satisfaction of eight weeks of hard work and fun. See you all around next time! And don’t forget to check out all the photos from our flying dragons tinkering session!

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Carnival - Week 7-8 - Boys & Girls Clubs - Mission Clubhouse

Carnival (Fall 2018), B&GClub - M (Fall 2018)Julie PeriComment

It’s the final count down to the big night of the carnival! Both teams worked with focus and persistence to have their rides finished in time for everyone to get to try them out and show off their accomplishments to their guests.

Katie and Jasmine made sure to stay safe in the chopsaw room even in the midst of the growing excitement.

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Zadrien and Wallace worked as a team to finish attaching the rear supports on the gravitron, while Joshua and David worked together to cut the paneling that covered the supports.

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Team work was ESSENTIAL these last weeks to accomplish everything the team wanted to build. Wallace and Zadrien, Joshua and David, and Liana and Joanna all split into pairs and took on a necessary role in this last week. They all persisted through wonderful mistakes and occasional frustrations to finish adding on the needed structural safety bracing for riding the gravitron.

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Over on the rocket side, Brendon worked with Ailee and Amanda to finish attaching the rear wall to one of the rockets.

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While Narett, Jasmine and Katie added the back paneling on the other rocket. Again both teams split into two groups to accomplish more together.

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Then, before we all knew it, the 8th week was upon us and it was Carnival night! We put out the lights, wrote up welcome signs, made tickets and did a last few additions before testing our creations.

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Annie and Brendon added the last few screws to the trap door, while Ailee added on a roof.

 Annie was a little nervous using the drill, so Brendon offered a partner push.

Annie was a little nervous using the drill, so Brendon offered a partner push.

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 Jasmine and Yareth worked on adding rocket jets and making fire come out of them.

Jasmine and Yareth worked on adding rocket jets and making fire come out of them.

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Joshua and Wallace added pin-wheels while Zadrien and Liana drilled down the ball catching buckets on each seat.

Then finally it was time! As per Tinkering School tradition, the adult collaborators safety tested each ride before the younger tinkerers climbed aboard. First to test were the rockets. Omar and Katie went in first, both with helmets, and…the rockets worked!

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Quickly to follow after were the tinkerers themselves.

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Then it was time for the gravitron. We went over the safety rules we had agreed to and after a preliminary test for structural safety…we let it rip! While the gravitron spun around, the riders would hold onto the buckets for stability while other kids tried to throw balls into them. All kids (young and old) had a blast!

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Super speed!

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This session was a total success and everyone accomplished so much! To see all the fun from these past eight weeks check out our Flickr page for more photos!

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Roving Vehicles - Week 6 - Boys & Girls Clubs - Willie Mays Clubhouse

B&GCLub - WM (Fall 2018), Vehicles (Fall 2018)Brendon BellComment

This week we are one step closer to steering our roving vehicles! With frames made and axles put into place, we are ready for wheels- LET’S HIT THE ROAD! (Or at least the nearest sidewalk and baseball field)

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Today Jadya, Keyonie, and E’mya teamed up to get the “house rover” prepped for take off! Affectionately called the “J” team, they all agreed that the jigsaw is their favorite tool to use and that it makes their hands feel “tickly”. The “j” team worked on drilling holes for the front axle and used her super power focusing skills to cut ply for the flooring.

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Keyonie cuts through plywood with the jigsaw like a pro! George and Douglas worked on a super-sized vehicle that takes a whole team of people just to lift it off the ground! With persistence, focus, and collaboration they are nearly ready for a test ride.

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Drilling holes for the axles is tough!! George and Douglas work together on this one.

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Kai and Kenneth put their axle through the frame, then attached the wheels and collar shafts (with a little help from our handy dandy friend, the mallet.)

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Kai puts the axle and wheels on the wooden frame while Kenneth puts a collar shaft on the axle to make sure the wheels stay in place.

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And woohooo! We are ready to test our kart. Kai and Kenneth enjoyed a beautiful view after test riding their roving vehicle :)

Another fun day of tinkering work and play at Willie Mays. Check back next week to see where our roving vehicles take us!

Carnival - Week 6 - Boys & Girls Clubs - Mission Clubhouse

B&GClub - M (Fall 2018), Carnival (Fall 2018)Julie PeriComment

It’s week six already! The “Gravitron” and “Rocket” teams are making speedy progress. Soon our carnival rides will be spinning and swinging!

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Joana and David worked on attaching the flooring and the walls. David used the jig saw to cut out the tracing of the flooring that he drew while Joana added cross supports.

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Working on the gravitron required everyone’s focus and attention. After attaching the flooring, Wallace and Diego began to make pilot holes for where the outer wheels will attach to the gravitron. Wallace points to his hole to show Diego where to put his.

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The Rocket Swing team subdivided into two smaller teams to get our rockets closer to blast off! Naret, Yareth, and Jazmine worked on drilling holes for ropes to lift the rockets up off the ground. They also attached wooden supports for what will soon be the side rails to the rocket swings.

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Yareth and Naret added supports for the rocket swing railing.

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Ailey got creative and attached PVC pipe to the frame of one of the Rocket Swings.

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It’s decoration time! Annie used masking tape, markers, and cellophane to give the rocket some flare, while Amanda experimented with materials for the windows and walls.

Check back in next week to see the Gravitron and Rocket Swings in action!

https://www.flickr.com/photos/tinkeringschool/albums/72157695964261670

Flying Dragons - Week 6

Flying Dragons (Fall2018)Brendon BellComment

Our dragons left the ground for the first time today! They may not have their wings yet, but our tinkerers wanted to test how well the dragons took to being in the air.

Before the testing began though, there was lots of building to be done!

 Asher and Jackson finished securing the roof on their team’s dragon.

Asher and Jackson finished securing the roof on their team’s dragon.

 Adele and Daphne also completed their awesome dragon egg nest!

Adele and Daphne also completed their awesome dragon egg nest!

 August recruited Jackson to help him build some cross supports for the dragon head he’s been carefully crafting.

August recruited Jackson to help him build some cross supports for the dragon head he’s been carefully crafting.

The team building the dragon that will carry riders inside its belly made lots of progress thanks to lots of teamwork and extra focus.

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Peter worked on repositioning some eyebolts that the zip line ropes will attach to and Nicholas learned how to use a hot knife for cutting through and sealing the ends of synthetic rope.

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 Olivia was excited to use the band saw! It’s tricky to keep the blade moving along a line, but with her sharp eye, she made some super precise cuts to make pieces for her chair.

Olivia was excited to use the band saw! It’s tricky to keep the blade moving along a line, but with her sharp eye, she made some super precise cuts to make pieces for her chair.

Meanwhile, the small “baby” dragon team worked hard to finish installing the hardware that the zip line ropes will attach to.

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And then the testing began!

 Whooo! It worked and Tommy proved it can support lots of weight!!

Whooo! It worked and Tommy proved it can support lots of weight!!

The team building the dragon that carries riders under its belly also completed their frame and suspension points. It was incredible to see their very large dragon body raise up into the sky!

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 The rider cockpit is going to be so much fun to ride in. There’s even a side window!

The rider cockpit is going to be so much fun to ride in. There’s even a side window!

 There’s something incredible about seeing a giant construction you build take form! And then to see it raise into the air…sheer excitement!!! :-)

There’s something incredible about seeing a giant construction you build take form! And then to see it raise into the air…sheer excitement!!! :-)

With only two more weeks left of our Tinkering after school session, our hardworking crew is eager to give our dragon skeletons wings, heads, tails, and so much more. The dragons have been slowly incubating over the past six weeks and you wont want to miss them as they hatch and take flight!

And don’t forget, all the fun photos from the day and previous weeks can be seen on our Flickr page!

Roving Vehicles - Week 5 - Boys & Girls Clubs - Willie Mays Clubhouse

B&GCLub - WM (Fall 2018)Brendon BellComment

Beep beep! Welcome back to the garage of our roving vehicles. Things have been moving fast around here to get our karts rolling. Literally! This week we started to attach wheels and work on our steering systems.

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Kai drilled out a whole where the steering wheel will be attached , while Keyone and Jayda worked on attaching the front wheels of their kart, and Brendon helped Douglas attach the back wheels on their long kart.

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E’Mya used a forstner bit to make a hole big enough for the axel to fit through. Sometimes an extra push is necessary to get the bit all the way through the wood and in this case George helped E’Mya with a partner push to make it through.

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Today’s goal was to ride the karts and the groups worked persistently to reach their outcome. Douglass, Ja’Darius and George worked on attaching the platform to their kart. Brendon helped Douglass with the jig saw and Ja’Darius and George focused on screwing it to their frame.

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In another group Richae and Jayda used a chuck drill with a large drill bit to make the wholes for their axle. Clamping the wood to the bench allowed them to work independently and keep two hands for safety on the drill at all times. Both Jayda and Richae used one hand to push down on the drill, which we teach at tinkering school to make sure we get the bit through the wood.

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Working down to the wire, Kai finished drilling out the last whole on his team’s kart and they got all of the wheels and steering attached!

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Marissa tested out the kart and, UH OH! It was dragging on the ground. Things to work on next week! That is why we TINKER. The group discussed possible solutions to the problem and chose to shorten the length of the kart. We added the next steps to our checklist, including a motor! and called it a day.

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See you next time! Check out more photos from the day below.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/tinkeringschool/albums/72157701599846154

Carnival - Week 5 - Boys & Girls Clubs - Mission Clubhouse

B&GClub - M (Winter 2018), Carnival (Fall 2018)Brendon BellComment

Are you ready to get dizzy!? The Mission clubhouse teams made lots of progress on their spinning gravitron as well as their rocket ship swings!

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To make sure the gravitron doesn’t spin itself apart, the team decided it would be good to add some cross supports. The task provided an excellent opportunity to practice using clamps.

 WHOOO! It spins!

WHOOO! It spins!

One of the rocket ship crews was able to cut out their bottom hatch. They chose a square instead of a circle to distinguish their rocket from the other crew’s.

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Amanda and Joanna are now pros at using the jig saw. It’s so great to see kids quickly become proficient and comfortable using power tools. All that’s required is a little encouragement and lots of opportunities to practice!

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The circle hatch rocket team was able to successfully finish attaching their floor to the frame.

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After standing on it and testing its strength, the team discovered that they needed to cut and attach some more cross supports to prevent the floor from bending underfoot.

With a few more weeks to go in the session, the carnival rides are quickly approaching test riding time… so exciting! Stay tuned to see the kids hard at work next week and in the meantime visit our Flickr page to check out more of the tinkering action!

Flying Dragons - Week 5

Flying Dragons (Fall2018)Brendon BellComment

We have a zip line! It’s been a long held dream here at our Tinkering School workshop, and now we finally have an 80ft zip line running through the workspace :-) We couldn’t be more excited to have this enthusiastic crew of tinkerers help us test it out. One of the teams made the first attempt to suspend their dragon’s frame on the line.

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It took the coordination of everyone to raise it up and figure out how to attach the support ropes to the zip line pulleys.

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They quickly discovered amidst lots of laughter that with the weight of their dragon, a kid or two, and the sag of the line, that they would need to shorten their support ropes…

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There was lots more planning and fine tuning to be done as well. Some of the kids also tried their hand at using some pull saws to trim up some uneven joints on the frame.

The team constructing the “riding below” dragon also made lots of progress.

 Jackson showed August the rider cubicle that will be attached under the dragon’s belly.

Jackson showed August the rider cubicle that will be attached under the dragon’s belly.

 Adele joined Daphne’s project, helping build the dragon nest.

Adele joined Daphne’s project, helping build the dragon nest.

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August and Emma had a fun challenge in figuring out how to attach their dragon’s jaw to the rest of the head so it moves!

And the final dragon team nearly completed their dragon body.

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The team carefully measured and cut their plywood paneling and they were amazed to see it all fit together like a puzzle! It pays off to take time and make precise measurements and straight cuts.

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 Truman proudly demonstrating how the dragon horns he cut out will attach to the dragon’s head. They will also function as handles for the rider.

Truman proudly demonstrating how the dragon horns he cut out will attach to the dragon’s head. They will also function as handles for the rider.

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With only a few more weeks left in the session, the kids are super excited to begin test riding their dragons as well as figure out ways to collect their dragon eggs mid flight!

For more photos from the week and the rest of the session, you can visit our Flickr page. See you next week!

Roving Vehicles - Week 2 & 4 - Boys & Girls Clubs - Willie Mays Clubhouse

Vehicles (Fall 2018), B&GCLub - WM (Fall 2018)Brendon BellComment

In case the “vrrooom, vrooom” hints from our first post weren’t obvious, we are happy to share with you what we shared with our young tinkering crew from Willie Mays clubhouse…we’re going to be building moving, rideable, steerable vehicles! YAY!!! The kids were more than a little excited :-)

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But what would our vehicles look like? What parts do we need in order to build a vehicle? How many wheels do we want our vehicles to have? So many questions…and so we jumped into our design sessions after breaking into a few different groups.

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We first spent some time drawing our own individual ideas and sharing them in a “gallery” tour. Then the project collaborators helped the teams combine and focus their ideas into one blueprint that they all felt ownership of and excited about.

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 We’re so glad. We love tinkering too :-)

We’re so glad. We love tinkering too :-)

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We couldn’t begin building though till we transported all our lumber to our build site. The kids were thrilled to haul the wood up the path to the garden workspace. It’s the simple things that make a project fun sometimes!

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They all learned how to safely carry the eight foot long pieces by partnering up so one person was on each end. This eliminates accidental helicopters from hitting passerby’s.

 Hauling wood is also hard work and thirst inducing!

Hauling wood is also hard work and thirst inducing!

With all our lumber and materials ready, the teams began cutting and assembling their vehicle frames and tires.

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The kids had to use a really large drill bit to make a hole big enough for the axle that the wheels will spin on. It was a good opportunity for collaboration because it took a lot of force to push the drill down. “Can I have a partner push please?”

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 Attaching a steering wheel to the threaded steering column.

Attaching a steering wheel to the threaded steering column.

Assembling the tires was super fun! After attaching the rims, the kids used a bike pump to inflate the tubes. These are no ordinary, tiny wheels…the vehicles will be able to go off-roading with these puppies!

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There was lots of time for practicing drilling and screwing as the teams built their vehicles’ frames that the wheels, floor, roof and everything else will attach to.

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Another team also had a chance to complete their tool training and learn to use clamps, drills, and the chop saw effectively and safely.

 Great teamwork!

Great teamwork!

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 A pristine, freshly cut piece of lumber. Nice work Douglas!

A pristine, freshly cut piece of lumber. Nice work Douglas!

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And there was even still time to build the outer frame for the floor of the longest vehicle. It will hold all four team-members! It might resemble a bob sled by the time its completed…

There’s lots more fun tinkering to see from these first few weeks. We encourage you to visit our Flickr page and to check back with us next week. Who knows what this hard working and passionate crew will construct next!

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