Tinkering School

come make amazing things with us

Giant Insects - Week 2 - Boys & Girls Club - Willie Mays Clubhouse

B&GClub -WM (Spring 2018)Brendon BellComment

"What are we going to build!?" A classic question that collaborators have been fielding since Tinkering School's inception over ten years ago. And last week we certainly heard a few variations from our Willie Mays tinkering crew :)

So what are we going to build?

GIANT INSECTS! Not only giant insects, but giant insects that have to collect giant bits of pollen and transport them back to their hive.  The kids were up for the challenge and they jumped into imagining and designing their insects. What will they look like? How will they pick up the pollen?


So far we will be building a winged spider, a butterfly, a cute bee/caterpillar, and a bug that looks like melted ice-cream with a jet pack on its back! Can't wait to see these insects in action!


With some hard design work under our belts, it was time to move on to more tool training. Next up, the CHOP SAW!

The kids learned all about the blood bubble (the area near the blade that all fingers and appendages must remain well outside of). We also had the kids feel their arms and notice how squishy they are compared to the the wood. If the saw can cut through the wood like butter, what does that mean for our fingers/arms...? We want the kids to have a healthy respect for the saw and what it can do if not used properly. At the same time, we also work to instill a feeling of confidence in their ability to use the saw and other tools safely. That's why we train each child on our very specific safety measures. A collaborator is also right there by their side at all times, watching, and controlling the power button. At Tinkering School, safety is always #1.


Each tinkerer got a chance to cut their first piece of wood. They'll have lots of opportunities to practice more in the upcoming weeks!


To complete our introductory tool training, we next learned how to use clamps, an essential tool in any workshop.

Building is fierce!

Building is fierce!


Tinkering is all about learning by doing. The kids quickly mastered the clamps and crafted some cool sculptures/bridges in the process.

We can have fun tinkering with any material, even just clamps and 2x3s!

We can have fun tinkering with any material, even just clamps and 2x3s!

Tool training complete - check.

Design brainstorming complete - check.

Next week, we'll create blueprints of our giant insects and begin the really fun phase of actually building our epic creations! Keep checking back in to see our progress!

Tinkering School is a trademark registered in the US Patent and Trademark Office.