Tinkering School

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Choosing a Theme For a Pinball Machine

Nathan Savoy1 Comment

This Wednesday was our final building session before we put the finishing touches on our pinball machine and prepare to play with it next week.  We began the day discussing the two necessary functional components remaining to be attached- our "3in toilet" catch system and the "side ramps" to prevent the ball bearing from falling out of the playing field by rolling out of the flippers periphery. Before we even set to work Luca's (who had been egger to design the pinball's scoreboard since the first day of design) brought up a concern.

"Umm, how do we score points?" When prompted to expand he elaborated telling the group that all pinball machines he'd ever seen had a theme. A solid observation that caught the entire group's attention and set us into an impromptu design phase.

Henry shares his design pointing out where the obstacles will be on the board.

Henry shares his design pointing out where the obstacles will be on the board.

Amanda reminded the group how our board was still missing the "obstacles" discussed in previous design sessions and encouraged the group to consider how those may be incorporated into the chosen theme. Many ideas were discussed and explored but in the end a Baseball Theme prevailed.

The first and most important decision expressed by the group was to determine a team name. Some said The Giants others wanted to be The Doggers in the end the group agreed to be called The Drills (Amanda and I exchanged a quick smile. It was aparent this groups cooperation was coming together and taking shape just as quickly as the project). It was a mere coincidence that the triangular shape created by the flippers perfectly outlined a baseball so the design discussion continued on where player's would be situated and which ones would be worth the most "points" based on collision with the ball bearing. With a clear directive on what needed to be done we broke into two groups. One to attach the remaining functional components and another to design the "players" and "base" obstacles.

Then we broke out the wood glue and put down the "bases".

 

What a wonderful working session of focused teamwork we had. Everyone is excited to put the legs on and try it out next week!

Also, introducing Teddy. Future tinker in the works! 

Also, introducing Teddy. Future tinker in the works! 

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