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!
The tinkerers worked together today to make the crane tower stronger and safer. We checked for areas where screws may have been too short or the wrong size, we also looked for gaps in our construction, and checked the overall stability of the structure.
Leo presented an idea for a swivel top so that the crane arm could move from side to side. His plan consisted of attaching wheels onto the crane arm and adding handles onto the end of the arm to control its movement. At the end of our session everyone made drawings to share how we collaborated with each other.
The kids came up with a plan to take short welding turns, be ready with the pieces you want to weld, how to connect them and to also know how you were going to set up the pieces to weld all BEFORE you got to the welding station! We also made a plan to have the rotation of safety gear go more smoothly and ...safely!
In preparation to complete our crane project we took a week to step back and focus on safety and structural integrity. Half of the tinkering crew worked with pulleys, while the other half worked with scrap wood to try to build tables that are sturdy and level. Tinkerers were quizzed on using proper length screws and measuring accurately.
Today was a really interesting day! The kids have gotten a handle on the positions that make them comfortable, how to use tools with giant leather gloves on, what patterns they need to move the welder in for certain types of welds. Today everyone was doing complicated set-ups and a lot of creative problem solving!
Today the Container team's goal was to add sides to the container. They all had different ideas of the best way to add walls and support at the same time. So they decided to do each side a different way!
Around about the 3rd week of welding after school, things really hit a nice groove. And, the kids start to realize that welding is about 95% setup.
To start week 3 of our project we looked at some images of cranes from the Port of Oakland to gain an understanding of how they work and we discussed how we could engineer our design to be sturdy enough to pick up and move a 5 gallon bucket of water. Dividing into two teams (Crane and Container), Tinkerers started by reflecting on the steps completed last week and making sketches for todays ideas.