This fall we are really excited to be trying something new! We have opened our space (quite literally) to young builders. Our hope is that through providing kids with access to our tools, both practical and personal we will allow them to chase their own ideas and face adversity and failure head one. This is a complete reformat to our traditional approach. Here projects are kid-selected and kid driven.
Although everyone was excited to dive right in and start building we still needed to review some basic tool training on drills, clamps and the chop-saw.
To encourage kids' passion and independence our open shop doesn't only apply to space, it also includes access! Builders are granted uninterrupted access for up to 2.5 hours once or twice a week (depending on registration selection) to the shop and can come and leave as they please. We as collaborators hope that by allowing each other to conceptualize and control this constraint we will encourage one another learn from ourselves while working on own individual projects.
Our first day held a wonderful example of how we can practice becoming autodidactic in the presence of one another. After we completed tool training we challenged our builders to practice their new skills by challenging them to construct something they could either sit or stand on. Although a couple of our first days' attendees opted for an earlier exit we had one pair of builder's stick around to the very end. The seat on Gabriel's chair was a few inches too high to balance him without his feet touching the ground but when he had the idea to pair it with Justin's sturdy stool, the two made quite a successful set!