Tinkering School

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Let's Pilot an Elephant to Feed a Squirrel!

Elephant (Spring 2017)Amanda SimonsComment

Last week, the Thursday After School Tinkerers were trained in how to safely use the tools, and also in how to treat one another and the space during our Thursday afternoons together. Interspersed in last week's excitement as also lots and lots of chatter about "what's the project?!" What are we going to be working so hard and spending so much time going together? Can we sit in it? Can we play with it? Is it a dragon?

Yes, yes, and maybe?

Here's the story. 

Tinkering School is housed in this giant warehouse of a school that used to be a mayonnaise factory. There are giant windows and drafty doors and a huge roll up garage door that we sometimes leave open during the day. Let's be honest here. Sometimes critters wander in. Sometimes birds visit us and we have to shoo them out. What if other critters came in?

Well, we have a squirrel. We have a hungry squirrel that has made a nest in our upstairs storage area. The squirrel really likes peanuts and we're gonna be nice a feed the squirrel using an elephant as a transportation system.

This is a fake story, of course. And like all good fake stories, we need some good fake props to make it come to life!

After some intense brainstorming, the team came up with a proposal. We're going to try to build an elephant that can be "piloted" by kids. Its face will pick up a wooden peanut, twist around, and deliver it upstairs to a super cute geometric Minecraft-inspired squirrel. 

So, we got to work!

We started with three teams and three beginning projects:

  • Team Peanut is making a giant wooden peanut.
  • Team Squirrel started constructing an awesome squirrel body.
  • Team Frame Head (aka Team Elephant Pilot) made an elaborate plan for a platform that will become an elephant body with a seat inside for the pilot to sit in. 

We made a lot of progress for the short amount of time we shared yesterday, and we even made to do lists for next week.

With this ambitious and super silly project now underway, I can't wait to meet up with these folks next week and get back to work!

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