Tinkering School

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Figuring out Friday's

Open Shop (Fall 2014)Nathan Savoy

With 5 young builders working on independent projects, Friday's seem to be so busy that we don't even have a moment to capture all the action. I think that's quickly identifying itself as one of the main challenges for both collaborator and construction during open shop. 

In this environment we encourage planing so everyone has a clear direction on the days work through establishing next steps and some hopeful outcomes for the afternoon. These mini-meetings can take anywhere from two to ten minutes and happen before even picking up our first tool. Coming into the sunny and airy space of the shop after a full week of instruction can its own challenge for the majority of youth in this groups' age range but the mimi-meetings are designed to kickstart engagement by creating focus and excitement. 

Once we get started we frequently come across unforeseen complications which force us to rethink our plan or specific operation. We promote thoughtful reflection and asking questions in open-shop that require us to practice patience and the importance of assisting one other when working in shared spaces. This collaboration often prompts curiosity in each other's projects. It's so satisfying to hear the designer share their project or it's specific component when asked, "What are you building? What is this for? How does it work?" 

These interactions lend themselves to a lot of the positivity this group brings into the shop. These kids are learning to sharing much more then simply tools. They're exchanging laughs, stories and practical advice. 


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