Tinkering School

come make amazing things with us

B&GClub - M (Fall 2018)

Carnival - Week 7-8 - Boys & Girls Clubs - Mission Clubhouse

Carnival (Fall 2018), B&GClub - M (Fall 2018)Julie PeriComment

It’s the final count down to the big night of the carnival! Both teams worked with focus and persistence to have their rides finished in time for everyone to get to try them out and show off their accomplishments to their guests.

Katie and Jasmine made sure to stay safe in the chopsaw room even in the midst of the growing excitement.

IMG_0063.JPEG

Zadrien and Wallace worked as a team to finish attaching the rear supports on the gravitron, while Joshua and David worked together to cut the paneling that covered the supports.

IMG_7474.JPG
IMG_7481.JPG

Team work was ESSENTIAL these last weeks to accomplish everything the team wanted to build. Wallace and Zadrien, Joshua and David, and Liana and Joanna all split into pairs and took on a necessary role in this last week. They all persisted through wonderful mistakes and occasional frustrations to finish adding on the needed structural safety bracing for riding the gravitron.

P1200106.JPG

Over on the rocket side, Brendon worked with Ailee and Amanda to finish attaching the rear wall to one of the rockets.

P1130753.JPG

While Narett, Jasmine and Katie added the back paneling on the other rocket. Again both teams split into two groups to accomplish more together.

P1200115.JPG

Then, before we all knew it, the 8th week was upon us and it was Carnival night! We put out the lights, wrote up welcome signs, made tickets and did a last few additions before testing our creations.

IMG_0148.JPG

Annie and Brendon added the last few screws to the trap door, while Ailee added on a roof.

 Annie was a little nervous using the drill, so Brendon offered a partner push.

Annie was a little nervous using the drill, so Brendon offered a partner push.

P1040011.JPG
 Jasmine and Yareth worked on adding rocket jets and making fire come out of them.

Jasmine and Yareth worked on adding rocket jets and making fire come out of them.

P1200158.JPG
P1170191.JPG

Joshua and Wallace added pin-wheels while Zadrien and Liana drilled down the ball catching buckets on each seat.

Then finally it was time! As per Tinkering School tradition, the adult collaborators safety tested each ride before the younger tinkerers climbed aboard. First to test were the rockets. Omar and Katie went in first, both with helmets, and…the rockets worked!

IMG_0745.jpg

Quickly to follow after were the tinkerers themselves.

IMG_7519.JPG
IMG_7523.JPG

Then it was time for the gravitron. We went over the safety rules we had agreed to and after a preliminary test for structural safety…we let it rip! While the gravitron spun around, the riders would hold onto the buckets for stability while other kids tried to throw balls into them. All kids (young and old) had a blast!

IMG_20181113_165417.jpg

Super speed!

P1120392.JPG

This session was a total success and everyone accomplished so much! To see all the fun from these past eight weeks check out our Flickr page for more photos!

IMG_20181113_175521_1.jpg
IMG_20181113_175707.jpg

Carnival - Week 6 - Boys & Girls Clubs - Mission Clubhouse

B&GClub - M (Fall 2018), Carnival (Fall 2018)Julie PeriComment

It’s week six already! The “Gravitron” and “Rocket” teams are making speedy progress. Soon our carnival rides will be spinning and swinging!

P1200051.JPG

Joana and David worked on attaching the flooring and the walls. David used the jig saw to cut out the tracing of the flooring that he drew while Joana added cross supports.

P1200059.JPG
P1200056.JPG

Working on the gravitron required everyone’s focus and attention. After attaching the flooring, Wallace and Diego began to make pilot holes for where the outer wheels will attach to the gravitron. Wallace points to his hole to show Diego where to put his.

P1200068.JPG

The Rocket Swing team subdivided into two smaller teams to get our rockets closer to blast off! Naret, Yareth, and Jazmine worked on drilling holes for ropes to lift the rockets up off the ground. They also attached wooden supports for what will soon be the side rails to the rocket swings.

P1120336.JPG

Yareth and Naret added supports for the rocket swing railing.

P1030924.JPG

Ailey got creative and attached PVC pipe to the frame of one of the Rocket Swings.

P1030926.JPG
P1130715.JPG

It’s decoration time! Annie used masking tape, markers, and cellophane to give the rocket some flare, while Amanda experimented with materials for the windows and walls.

Check back in next week to see the Gravitron and Rocket Swings in action!

https://www.flickr.com/photos/tinkeringschool/albums/72157695964261670

Carnival - Weeks 2-4 - Boys & Girls Clubs - Mission Clubhouse

B&GClub - M (Fall 2018), Carnival (Fall 2018)Brendon BellComment

Step right up, step right up! You are in store for the most elaborate, the most exciting, the most inspiring event this side of the Mississippi. That’s right…it’s Tinkering School “Carnival Edition!”

This fall, the Mission Clubhouse will be building carnival rides - whoohoooo! which was pretty much the kids’ exact sentiments after Julie shared the design challenge :-)

IMG_6621.JPG

We split up into two groups and started drawing our individual design ideas. The design constraints this fall are to build one ride that spins, and one ride that swings. Annie and Amanda worked diligently on their design for the swinging ride.

IMG_6629.JPG

After completing the individual drawings, everyone shared their ideas with their project groups and then incorporated all of them into two big designs.

IMG_6634.JPG
P1030731.JPG

Finally it was time to collect materials, measure, and begin cutting and attaching!

 Omar provided an excellent vertical reference for how tall a roof might need to be.

Omar provided an excellent vertical reference for how tall a roof might need to be.

Over the course of week 2-4 of our Tinkering session, the kids have had many opportunities to practice their building skills. It’s so great to see their confidence and comfort growing as they use large power tools, even ones that intimidated them initially like the chop saw!

IMG_6653.JPG
IMG_6642.JPG

The spinning team came up with an awesome idea to build a “gravitron” (think of a big merry-go-round where the kids get plastered to the walls by the g-forces as they spin around). We’ll see how nausea inducing the ride ends up becoming…

P1030736.JPG
IMG_0596.jpg

The tinkerers started out by creating a giant weblike frame structure that will support the floor and walls. The “legs” were sandwiched by two round plywood disks for extra support and to provide a place for an axle to go through.

IMG_0594.jpg
IMG_0599.jpg

And “voila!” look how much they accomplished! They even attached caster wheels to the outside edge of each of the legs so the whole structure could spin. It worked!

IMG_0606.jpg

The swinging team also came up with a super exciting idea to have two rockets with riders sitting in them swing past each as if they were attached to the end of some giant scissors. With their plans in hand, they got straight to work cutting out frames and floor panels.

 Naret was excited to use a jig saw for the first time! She and Jasmine cut out a circle hatch out of the floor for riders to enter the rocket through.

Naret was excited to use a jig saw for the first time! She and Jasmine cut out a circle hatch out of the floor for riders to enter the rocket through.

 It lined up perfectly!

It lined up perfectly!

Jig saws can only cut by moving forward, not down. Rather than cutting a line to reach the circle outline, Jasmine used a large drill bit to cut a hole in middle of the plywood. That way the jig saw had a space for the blade to start from.

IMG_6919.JPG
 Amanda and Annie worked on constructing the frame for the second rocket. Such amazing teamwork!

Amanda and Annie worked on constructing the frame for the second rocket. Such amazing teamwork!

P1190940.JPG
P1190939.JPG

Everyone in the team took turns trying out the jig saw. It was the first time using one for many of our young tinkerers. After their initial nervousness, it was awesome to hear several exclamations of “that was fun!” Its a joy for all of us as collaborators to see the lightbulb switch on for so many kids as they realize they are capable of using real tools to build amazing things they never dreamed they could make before.

It’s been a blast having the Mission clubhouse crew with us again and we can’t wait to see their progress next week! To see photos from the all the sessions so far, please visit our Flickr page. Stay tuned for more epic tinkering next week!

Carnival - Week 1 - Boys & Girls Clubs - Mission Clubhouse

B&GClub - M (Fall 2018)Brendon BellComment

We’re thrilled to begin the 2018 school year with another 8 week Tinkering program with the Boys and Girls Clubs of San Francisco - Mission Clubhouse! We invited 13 young, enthusiastic club members to our work shop and we jumped right in by creating some group safety agreements and talking about our Tinkering School goals.

IMG_6476.JPG
IMG_0425 2.jpg

Next up, it was time to get our hands on some tools! We always start each Tinkering program with a safety tool training on the the three tools we end up using the most: drills, clamps, and the chop saw. We have a couple tinkering alums in this group, so for them it was a chance to practice their building skills. For many of the others, it was their first time using any these tools. Exciting!

 The kids inspected their drills first without batteries. They learned what the many buttons do as well as how to insert and remove drill and screw bits.

The kids inspected their drills first without batteries. They learned what the many buttons do as well as how to insert and remove drill and screw bits.

IMG_0442 2.jpg
IMG_0461.jpg

The kids quickly discovered how collaborating makes tinkering so much easier and it feels good too! There were lots of opportunities to help one another hold down pieces of wood while the other drilled.

P1190771.JPG

Clamps don’t get much recognition for all the work they do, but these tools are an essential part of any workshop. After learning how to properly use twist and squeeze clamps, the kids were given a challenge, “can you build a bridge using only clamps and short pieces of 2x3 boards?”

 Most definitely yes!

Most definitely yes!

 Joanna tested different ways to clamp two pieces of wood together. End to end, the pieces fell apart easily.

Joanna tested different ways to clamp two pieces of wood together. End to end, the pieces fell apart easily.

 Overlapping the pieces gave lots of room for the clamp pads to pinch the wood. They didn’t budge!

Overlapping the pieces gave lots of room for the clamp pads to pinch the wood. They didn’t budge!

Lastly, but certainly not leastly, the kids were super excited to use the chop saw!

 Evan, one of our Tinkering Collaborators, has the kids feel how hard lumber is compared to their fingers and arms. Its important for everyone to have a healthy respect for how easily the saw can cut things and why its important to follow our safety rules. By following these rules, and always having an adult collaborator supervising, the saw is a very safe tool to use.

Evan, one of our Tinkering Collaborators, has the kids feel how hard lumber is compared to their fingers and arms. Its important for everyone to have a healthy respect for how easily the saw can cut things and why its important to follow our safety rules. By following these rules, and always having an adult collaborator supervising, the saw is a very safe tool to use.

 Great form!

Great form!

Such a busy and fun first day! We’re excited to welcome Mission club back next week and to reveal the theme of our Tinkering project. The kids can’t wait to start designing and building and soon they’ll have a chance to do just that!

Stay tuned for more next week and in the meantime you can visit our Flickr page to see more of the days’ activities!

Tinkering School is a trademark registered in the US Patent and Trademark Office.