Tinkering School

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Dangerous Done Well Tuesday: Using a Torch to Roast Marshmallows

After SchoolSean Murray

Today we tried a slightly different flow. Starting with an exercise to flex the planning and anticipation muscles, we challenged the kids with "roll an egg for one city block without breaking it. It can't leave the concrete and you can't touch it with your hands." The results were enlightening.

Sean explains the challenge.

pushing with tools was a popular strategy.

The clamp allowed us to drag instead of roll the egg.

As a class we met varying degrees of failure, ranging from instant side-walk-mess to a tiny-but-undeniable crack right at the surface right at the end of the block. We all had strong opinions of how we might do it better next time.

Being outside the school helped start the class with focused energy

From there it was on to roasting marshmallows (and red peppers for those hoping to snack on healthier food burned on a propane torch).

Anxiety was high for the first roasting. We had the fire extinguisher on the ready

A success!

Its important to note just how hot a propane torch burns. In a number sense, it burns at over 800 degrees Fahrenheit. For comparison a lighter or candle burns at a mere 450 degrees or less. For another comparison, 800 degrees is enough to soften some metals (and even melt lead).

if we got to close, the marshmallow would ignite instantly

Eventually it felt like the tiniest hottest campfire ever. We gathered around and enjoyed roasted red peppers and toasty marshmallows for the rest of the workshop.

Georgia strives for toasty outside, gooey inside.

Sawyer, Trent, Georgia, Nico and Reuben pose with their first torch-roasted marshmallows.

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