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Flying Dragons - Week 3

Flying Dragons (Fall2018)Brendon BellComment

Rawwwr! With our tool training and design planning behind us, this week we had all a full session of tinkering and building! We met with our three dragon groups for a few minutes to make sure we were all on the same page, and then it was time to get our tools and materials.


The kids raided “scrap alley” for pieces of plywood. Some were really heavy and long so all hands were needed.

When plywood pieces aren’t the perfect size, we have multiple different saws we can use to cut them into the shape we need. Jackson learned how to safely use the band saw and had lots of practice cutting straight lines as he had multiple pieces he needed to trim.


August used the jig saw again to continue cutting out the shape of a dragon head for his team’s project. He learned how he can cut more intricate designs with the jig saws’s smaller blade.


And Daphne had lots of practice using the chop saw cutting up pieces for the dragon egg nest. As the dragons fly down the zip line, they will pick up a dragon egg midway and deposit it in their nest at the other end.


Adele and Asher teamed up to construct the body for the “riding under” dragon. They used a variety of clamps to help hold the pieces of wood together and took turns screwing and drilling. So efficient!


Meanwhile, the “riding inside” dragon team got to work building their own frame and attaching a solid floor that could hold up multiple riders. There were lots of opportunities for everyone to practice their drilling technique.


The team also came up with an ingenious way to craft a curved body for their dragon. The PVC pipe is attached to the floor with long bolts.

Olivia estimates if she’ll still fit inside.

Olivia estimates if she’ll still fit inside.

The “riding above” dragon team also made lots of progress constructing the ribs and frame of their dragon.


Holding down a piece of wood is accomplished with a variety of methods: clamps, a vise, a helping hand, and as Truman demonstrates, using our entire body weight can be helpful sometimes too!


The satisfaction of precision in action :-) A simple frame built precisely can be more challenging to construct than we might think.


Juliana also had a chance to try out the band saw. Sometimes with a longer piece, a helping hand is needed. Thanks Truman! While Juliana guided the wood through the blade, Truman kept his hands flat underneath the board, holding it up level with the table.


We saw so many examples of great collaboration and teamwork this week and the projects are rapidly taking shape as a result. We’re super excited to soon be testing out how well these dragons fly down the zip line. To see all the fun, be sure to check back next week and don’t forget to visit our Flickr page!

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