This spring our entire Wednesday team is comprised of After School Alumni (plus one very egger new addition). Experience has taught us that a kid's excitement surrounding tool training has an inverse correlation with the number of times they have received it. As collaborators, we came prepared to capture the engagement of veteran Tinkers, while still covering fundamental safety and operational protocol for our newest member, on their first day.
Preparation wasn't enough to prevent practically every member of the group from excitedly inquiring, "What's the project?!" as soon as they entered the front doors. Anticipation was so high that we had to interrupt an all-inclusive entirely kid-organized 'Potential Project Guessing Game' just to gather for opening circle. Even though none of the kids had previously met more then one or two other group members, by the time we sat down for opening circle, introductions were practically obsolete. This group of kids immediately clicked!
Before training we challenged those familiar with each tool to share with us something new they had learned today. Following demonstration, we encouraged the group to think of a question relating to the tool's use. For the majority of this group our day-one training challenges didn't compare to the even greater time-old challenge of patience.
Despite the entire groups anticipation, we reminded them that Tinkering School tradition permits us to announce the group project only after tool training is complete.
When it was time for closing circle, we hadn't delve quite as deep into tool training as anticipated (we still completed the standard chop-saws, drills and clamps); however, we're confident that everyone definitely had the opportunity to practice some patience. This is going to really come in hand this session as we take on the greatest project challenge I've ever been apart of here at TS.
We also had a lot of fun with clamps!