Tinkering School

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Tuesday After School - Winter 2017 - Day 1

Crane (Winter 2017)Amanda SimonsComment

It's a New Year and a New Set of Humans at Tuesday After School! This week, we started by getting to know the space, the tools, and each other. 

Tool Practice this week was especially challenging (for me!) because the vast majority of the Tinkerers have been to a TS Workshop, Camp, or After School session before. With that familiarity, taking the time to refresh tool knowledge, skills, and rules often becomes a hard sell. A been-there/done-that attitude is sometimes a default, so the Collaborators have to take special care to emphasize the importance of taking the time to use our bodies to remember old things instead of just saying "I already know that!" On the upside of this challenge, however, is also the opportunity for us to put the teaching in the hands of the students -- I gave them lots of space to chime in and share their knowledge and also help me demonstrate during my explanation of the tools. 

But also, with familiarity comes another opportunity to get really silly (within reason) during tool practice. This group made a pretty impressive Clamp-A-Ma-Jig during clamp practice. They even incorporated some of the assembly squares as bracers. 

During drill practice, we experimented with different ways to reinforce rectangles -- by making triangles, by experimenting with the number of screws at each connection, and also by brainstorming with multiple and unfamiliar new brains!

At the end of the session, we took the time to practice with some other familiar tools -- crayons! We even determined if they were safe enough to use without safety goggles (the consensus was mixed, and I opted to keep mine on). Everyone took the time to reflect on the session and draw moments when they met one of our Tinkering School goals. 

Above is my favorite moment of the day! Ayush (a TS veteran, and at first a hard-sell for participating in tool practice yet again) shared with us what he learned during the session. During drill practice, his drill was on reverse when he was trying to drive a screw in. He pushed and pushed and couldn't figure out why the screw wasn't going in. Before discovering the mistake, he had tried so hard that the screw bored a giant hole in the wood, and he had a hard time removing it at the end of practice! He took the time to illustrate and also explain the importance of checking the drill settings, as well as let us know what happens if you try too hard to drive a screw when the drill is in reverse!

Next week, the Tinkerers get to learn about the project they will design and build! In the mean time, check out all the photos from the session on Flickr!

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