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Bug! (Winter 2016)

FINAL: Be a Bug!!!

Bug! (Winter 2016)Jay SimpsonComment

We jumped on the last touches to our bug for our last build session- finally tackling tough question including "how will our bug segments be attached together?" (Rope cords!) We also had time to add some surprise last-minute-touches like wings and a shell on the sides of our last segment.


Our final bug, all together!

It came alive and roamed the shop, and while some tinkerers did get chomped by the jaws, everyone survived!

Progress update - Be a Bug!

Bug! (Winter 2016)Caroline ScanlanComment

This week, we made loads of progress on our larger-than-life bug! We built a second bench for the "bug bus" segment (thorax), we finished and attached our "bug jaws" to the bug head, we made headway on the last (the abdomen) segment, and we even tinkered with a few ways to attach the bug segments to each other!

Our tinkerers were champion collaborators this Monday, providing partner pushes, sharing ideas, plugging in to different mini-projects, and asking "how can I help?"

Check out photos of our super afternoon together below:






BE A BUG! It's all coming together!

Bug! (Winter 2016)Caroline ScanlanComment

Today was a beautiful day in the shop! The perfect weather, light, and tinkering chemistry for bringing this bug to life!!!

At the beginning of our session, we listed our building priorities and decided on small-group next steps: Big Bug Bus thorax segment was going to get its first comfy bench, the head of our bug was going to get a pair of chomping jaws, and finally, this crazy bug was going to get its last segment - an abdomen!

Team abdomen got straight to work, cutting wood with the chop saw so that we could build build build!

We had a lot of same-length segments to cut, so we decided to use a chop saw stop. 

And then we adjusted our clamp to get a firmer grip!

Due to a shortage of castor wheels in the shop, we decided to use a pre-existing cart frame to carry our segment. As we assembled our wood, we realized that we had mis-measured the first time around and would need to shave off a little length next week...


And now...BUG JAWS!

Team bug jaws (mandibles?!) had some work with the drill press to finish. Last week, they drafted a design that included moveable pvc-pipe jaws  and cardboard "teeth." The pvc-pipe jaws fit into perfected-sized holes. The whole apparatus can move on hinges! Check out our process below:

be a bug-21.jpg

Finally, some news from the bug bus:

Team BUG BUS assembled the first bench today, complete with felt-padded butt and back rests. The hugely thick felt was fun and floppy to cut on the bandsaw and required lots of hands on deck to support it safely!

We were pretty pleased by our progress at the end of the day :)

Be a Bug! Doing our best to use all of the tools!

Bug! (Winter 2016)Jay SimpsonComment

Since we're six weeks into this, our skills are getting like off the charts. We're quick, we're accurate with our cuts, and we're hungry for more. And as it happens, this build day we used so many tools in the shop it was incredible. 

Drills? Definitely got those down pact. We were able to get these plywood walls on super quick.

Compound miter saw? Check!!!! We're cutting like butter, baby.

Band saw, totally ON IT!!!!!!!!

Look, mom, TWO HANDS!!!!


Pipe cutter merit badge = earned!!

Drill press? We're working on it—next week we'll totally know what we're doing.

Status update: the bug bus (our thorax) is getting benches made of plywood, while the head of bug got plywood walls attached, reinforced ceiling supports, AND we're making JAWS to eat things! We started working with the pipe, some hinges, and cardboard (for the teeth) to make it all work. Look for more updates next week!!!

BE A BUG! Build build build

Bug! (Winter 2016)Tinkering School StaffComment

This week started out with a mysterious box sitting on our art tables... it had a DO NOT TOUCH sign but was sealed up! We took turns guessing what on earth could be inside. A giant M&M? A small person? A box inside a box inside a box inside a box inside a box... ? Turns out it was clay, but who knows what may be in it next time?

Picking up where we last left off, it was time to add plywood sides to some of our segments. Here, a 3'11" tinkerer shows out this plywood is actually just one inch longer than he is! It must be super convenient to be able to measure wood dimensions using your body! 

Visiting the bug segments again, we decided on which way the segments would face and how we would fit people inside them. For our large segment, we determined that benches would be good—and help create a BUG BUS! This is going to be awesome!

The other segment may act as a head, able to steer the larger segment behind it.

After initial plans, we got to work cutting more supports for benches and wheels.

We also started attaching plywood panels to make the base of our shell. And we attached some wheels to help it move!

This week's tool was definitely the drill - so many drill-holes and screws! By the end of the day we had a few of the bench supports added and some plywood on the other segment, but next week we'll have to keep adding more! 

Can't wait to see our bug continue to come together!

BE A BUG! Segments continued!

Bug! (Winter 2016)Caroline ScanlanComment

This week we arrived at Tinkering School with a lot of work on our hands! Last Monday, we began building our bug segment prototypes, first draft designs of the body parts that would ultimately make up our mega bug! This week, we picked up right where we left off.

We reviewed our plans, made some sizing adjustments, and then got straight to building!

We made sure to connect our wood with nice right angles using squares and clamps.

And we pushed in a lot of screws!

By the end of the afternoon, we had two different bug segment frames to share with the group! The first was big enough for a Tinkerer or two to crawl inside of on their knees and push the bug body along with their hands. Next week, we'll attach wheels to the bottom and cut a shell on the band saw for the top!

The second group created a frame big enough for Tinkerers to stand in! They, too, imagined it would be people powered and move on wheels. 

After some testing, investigating, and conversing together, the Tinkerers decided to flip the frame on its side, imagining a super long segment instead of a super tall segment! This way, all of the Tinkerers of the day could fit inside! 

When this project comes together, we are going to have one whacky bug! Stay tuned as we build more segments, connect stuff together, and get more bug-y!

BE A BUG! Build a Segment!

Bug! (Winter 2016)Caroline ScanlanComment

What a day! This week we got straight to work on becoming a never-before-seen, many-segmented bug! First, we reviewed our major design criteria all together :

12-15 body segments big enough to fit inside of, lots of legs, head, antennae, spikes, jaws, and "palpi" - those cool things used to sense food and water

Then we split into small groups and began building three unique body segment "prototypes."

We experimented with many materials, incorporating everything from cardboard boxes, 2x3 wooden planks, plywood boards, plastic tubes, extra-thick felt, wheels, and screws into our designs!

We safely used loads of tools in the shop, including the chop saw, the band saw, hand drills, squares, and clamps. 

At the end of the day, we reflected on the process and shared our progress with the other groups. We're all excited to come back next week, work on our prototypes, and decide on the features we like best so that we can forge ahead!

BE A BUG! Design day!

Bug! (Winter 2016)Jay SimpsonComment

This week started off with a bizarre opening circle...

"Close your eyes... and imagine that if you looked down, instead of seeing your normal human legs you walked in with, you see BUG legs! And instead of seeing your normal human tummy you see a BUG abdomen!"  We were changing into bugs!!!

Our build theme for Monday Tinkering School sessions is "BE A BUG" and every week we will build towards this theme!

First, we drew pictures of all the bug-like things that came to mind during opening circle.

Then we used books from the library to help inspire more ideas and teach us the names for different bug parts.


Once we narrowed down the list of ideas for what we want to build onto our bug, we started to draw plans for what it could look like. And finally, we started brainstorming materials to use so we can experiment with our ideas next week!


Go to Flickr to see more photos from our session! (Updated weekly)

We look forward to next week when we'll start building!

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