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Espresso Train (Spr 2019)

The Express(o) Train - Week 4

Espresso Train (Spr 2019)Katie McClungComment

We’ve made it to week four and it’s hard to believe we are already half way done! Guess time flies on the Express(o) tracks! Each session has had new discoveries, new challenges, new solutions, and lots of fun! This week our three groups made progress on their projects and also took time to check out other group’s work.

The train car team used the band saw for the first time to cut plywood sides for the train car. They even attached a panel that had pre-cut shapes which made perfect windows! Next they are planning on adding wheels and a flap door so they can sell coffee out of the back of the train car.

The train tracks team used a new material in an inventive way! They cut down a material called TREX which is normally used for decking, then cut it into strips for the train tracks. Now they can curve and bend the tracks for an uphill or downhill ride! Next we will have to see if the train car will move on the tracks they’ve made. Can’t wait to see if it works!

The coffee/coco team tested the strength of their structure last session and realized it needed some work. This week they reinforced it and now it’s stronger than ever! They also started making the shipping boxes for the coffee and cocoa that the crane will pick up and set down into the train cars. A super interactive project!!

The train track group had some engine-eous ideas for making the tracks curve by using a decking material called TREX.

The train track group had some engine-eous ideas for making the tracks curve by using a decking material called TREX.

Bear cuts cross sections for the train tracks.

Bear cuts cross sections for the train tracks.

Willa connects the cross sections to the rails.

Willa connects the cross sections to the rails.

Xanti, Bear, and Willa work together to make more tracks.

Xanti, Bear, and Willa work together to make more tracks.

Field trip! The groups take turns checking out each other’s projects.

Field trip! The groups take turns checking out each other’s projects.

Jackson works hard to reinforce the crane’s main structure.

Jackson works hard to reinforce the crane’s main structure.

Lily and Ayana put the plywood sides onto their first train car.

Lily and Ayana put the plywood sides onto their first train car.

Elliot and Lily had the giggles as they tested out the windows of the upside down train car. :)

Elliot and Lily had the giggles as they tested out the windows of the upside down train car. :)

The Express(o) Train - Weeks 1 and 2

Espresso Train (Spr 2019)Katie McClungComment

Spring has sprung and it’s the start of a new Tinkering session!

With some new faces and some familiar ones, our Spring 2019 After School Tinkerers are ready to roll….on the EXPRESS(O) TRAIN!

This session’s project is TRAINS and our tinkerers have decided collectively that the group theme is coffee/cocoa! Coffee/hot cocoa trains with cafe stands, a crane for lifting bags of coffee/cocoa and placing them into the coffee/cocoa cars-all on the Expresso track. (For the non-coffee drinkers, our train will also have hot chocolate!)

After bringing together everyone’s design ideas and coming up with a building plan, we all got to it and made some great progress. Check out what we’ve built so far!

Elliot works on attaching the final screws for the first train car’s frame.

Elliot works on attaching the final screws for the first train car’s frame.

Week One:

After meeting one another, going over group agreements, and completing tool training, our teams ended their first day with a design session.

Chopsaw Training: Asher

Chopsaw Training: Asher

Bear on the Chopsaw.

Bear on the Chopsaw.

Elliot, Clay, and Niam take turns sharing ideas in the train car group’s design session.

Elliot, Clay, and Niam take turns sharing ideas in the train car group’s design session.

Bear and Willa draw out possible designs for the train accessory group.

Bear and Willa draw out possible designs for the train accessory group.

The Track team’s ideas come together.

The Track team’s ideas come together.

A decision is made…this train needs a coffee crane!

A decision is made…this train needs a coffee crane!

Week Two:

Building begins and ideas start to take shape! The tinkerers split up into three groups for the different elements of the Express(o) Train- the cars, the track, and the coffee/cocoa crane. Along with the new coffee/cocoa theme, our good friend “Blobby Dog” has made a re-appearance as a mascot for the Express(o) Train.

The wheel challenge!

The wheel challenge!

Willa and Sophie

Willa and Sophie

One of the biggest engineering challenges this team will encounter is how to keep the train wheels on the track! We looked at all sorts of wheels and talked about which ones would work best. What size wheels do we want? Do we build tracks that have a groove for the wheels to run down? Or do the wheels have sides that keep it on the track? So many options to consider. The team settled on using the metal rims without the tires because they have sides that will keep them on the track. We’ll hopefully get to test the wheels out next week!

Sophie joins the group and jumps right into building tracks!

Sophie joins the group and jumps right into building tracks!

Elliot and Keira square up the corners to build their frame.

Elliot and Keira square up the corners to build their frame.

We are on track! By the end of our second week together everyone was buzzing with excitement.

Lily cuts 2x3” for the frame of her group’s first train car.

Lily cuts 2x3” for the frame of her group’s first train car.

How many people can we fit?? Lily is astonished- it’s 3 x more than we thought!

How many people can we fit?? Lily is astonished- it’s 3 x more than we thought!

This Tinkering crew is rolling! We’re jazzed to see what they’ll accomplish and create next week. Will we be able to start test riding the track? Check back soon to find out!

To see more fun photos from our Tinkering sessions, be sure to visit our Express(o) Flickr album!

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