Tinkering School

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Video Game Maze - Weeks 1 & 2 - Boys and Girls Clubs - Mission Clubhouse

Video Games (Winter 2019), B&GClub (Winter 2019)Julie PeriComment

Hellooo Tinkerers!

We hope you all had a wonderful holiday season, and are happy to welcome you back with our winter edition of the Tinkering After School Program with the Boys and Girls Club Mission Clubhouse.

Last Tuesday we visited the Mission Clubhouse to meet our new crew of tinkerers and to reveal the project theme we will be working on for the next 8 weeks. as well as begin our design session.

We started the day with group agreements. Each session we create custom group agreements with the tinkerers. We do this to give them ownership over their participation and to encourage them to make choices that will best support them in the workspace. Everyone signs to show that they agree, and they are giving their word to keep these agreements.


Then we revealed the project… we’re going to build a giant video game maze where we will navigate all kinds of fun obstacles to complete the level!!

With new inspiration, our tinkerers split into groups to come up with their own individual design ideas before combining them all into one plan. At tinkering school we focus on group projects to encourage collaboration between tinkerers.


The end result of the design session was three different project focuses:

Water and Sky Team!

Water and Sky Team!

Can’t Touch the Ground Team!

Can’t Touch the Ground Team!

Boss Toss Team!

Boss Toss Team!

After we were done with our designing phase of the project, we brought the Mission Clubhouse back over to our workshop for tool training. One of our collaborators, Kai demonstrates the safety techniques and benefits for using clamps.


To test out the skills they learned, Kai gave each group of tinkerers a challenge to complete with the clamps. David and Vassidy practice clamping pieces of wood to the saw horse to complete their challenge of making a bridge.

Learning how to use tools isn’t all seriousness! Megan provides an opportunity for our Water and Sky team to measure how tall they want their zig zag tunnel to be.


Many of our tinkerers like to come back to our programs because they have so much fun and enjoy learning new skills, as well as improving on skills they already have. Edwin and Anthony have participated in previous sessions with the Boys and Girls Club and we are excited to see them back in the shop!


Last (and certainly not least) our new crew learned how to use the…CHOP SAW! (also known as a compound miter saw). Katie explains to the tinkerers the safety requirements of using this saw, including discussing the infamous blood bubble (a large area around the blade all fingers and body parts must stay out of). At Tinkering School we thoroughly go over the safety of each tool for the tinkerers, so that they feel safe and empowered when using them. Don’t forget to put on your safety goggles and ear protection before using this saw!


Once our teams completed their tool training, it was time to build and put our new skills to use!


So many opportunities to use all the tools and to collaborate. We can accomplish so much more when we build together!


Join us next week to see what our tinkerers create next. This is going to be a project you wont want to miss!

To see more photos from our tinkering time, be sure to visit our Flickr page!

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