Tinkering School

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B&GClub -WM (Winter 2018)

A Mini Clubhouse - Finale! - Boys & Girls Club - Willie Mays Clubhouse

B&GClub -WM (Winter 2018)Brendon BellComment

The final countdown! We had a small crew again this week, but with two days of tinkering left, the kids quickly jumped into finishing the walls and roof. Would they complete them in time to assemble the clubhouse??

 Laura and Audrey finish the frame for the revolving front door.

Laura and Audrey finish the frame for the revolving front door.

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It was decided we needed an awning to cover the front door, so we got to work cutting supports, a piece of corrugated plastic, and installing the newest addition to our mini clubhouse.

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 Teamwork makes the dream work!

Teamwork makes the dream work!

And finally, after weeks of anticipation...

...it was time to put all the puzzle pieces together!

 Malieke grabs a couple handfuls of clamps. We needed them to hold our clubhouse together before we could secure it with screws.

Malieke grabs a couple handfuls of clamps. We needed them to hold our clubhouse together before we could secure it with screws.

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 Kiejuan's vertical advantage proved very helpful! 

Kiejuan's vertical advantage proved very helpful! 

 Malieke secures the floor with lots of screws. Better safe than sorry when attaching your house to it's foundation!

Malieke secures the floor with lots of screws. Better safe than sorry when attaching your house to it's foundation!

 Laura helps move the roof into its final position.

Laura helps move the roof into its final position.

 Nothing beats the satisfaction of a job well done!

Nothing beats the satisfaction of a job well done!

And VOILA!

We are proud to introduce the Boys & Girls Club of SF's newest (mini) clubhouse! 

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What a journey! It was a pleasure building with this tenacious, dedicated, and energetic group of tinkerers. We witnessed them take hold of an idea, "why don't we build a giant doghouse?" and then dream up a creative plan for how they wanted it to look. They persevered through doubts and wonderful mistakes (aka awesome learning opportunities), and by working together they completed an ambitious and impressive project. Not only will this mini clubhouse stick around for many, many kids to enjoy, it will provide a canvas for the next art class at Willie Mays clubhouse! Can't wait to see what it looks like all painted up :)

Thanks for following these tinkerers' progress. And don't forget to check out some of our other amazing Boys & Girls Club projects on our blog!

A mini clubhouse! 4th post - Boys & Girls Club - Willie Mays Clubhouse

B&GClub -WM (Winter 2018)Brendon BellComment

This week our crew was a little smaller, but our tinkerers still accomplished a lot! 

Kiejuan took the lead in cutting and attaching the roof panels. It's really starting to come together! We built each part of the clubhouse separately in order to make it easy to store before our final assembly. 

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Laura took on a fun challenge to create a revolving door for our clubhouse.

 Laura and Julie discussing and drawing up plans.

Laura and Julie discussing and drawing up plans.

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DeAnte and Jayzal even started on a 40" flatscreen tv for the clubhouse. 

And last but certainly not least, we finished installing a "skylight" on the roof.

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It's hard to believe, but we only have one more week to continue tinkering with this crew. It's going to be amazing to see the entire clubhouse assembled next Wednesday! Keep checking back to see the ribbon cutting ceremony! 

A mini clubhouse! 3rd Post - Boys & Girls Club - Willie Mays Clubhouse

B&GClub -WM (Winter 2018)Brendon BellComment

Last week our tenacious crew was focused on building the walls/door. This week? We nearly completed the roof and floor! 

 Kiejuan drills together a simple but strong roof truss. 

Kiejuan drills together a simple but strong roof truss. 

The kids got a lot of saw practice cutting all the pieces for the roof. They also learned how to cut angle pieces that were needed to make the triangle trusses. We discussed how many trusses the mini clubhouse needed given that it will be roughly 4 feet wide. They settled on 3 so there would be one on each end and one in the middle to give the roof solid support.

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 Laura attaches a cross support (gusset) to the center truss that will go across the middle of the mini clubhouse. 

Laura attaches a cross support (gusset) to the center truss that will go across the middle of the mini clubhouse. 

Once the trusses were finished, the kids had a lot of fun attaching the roof battens (the horizontal supports). It's starting to look like a roof :)

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And Malieke cut the first pieces for the roof cover!

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Even with all this work being completed, our group still had time to measure, cut, drill, and screw the floor together. Task completed - check! 

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Stay tuned next week to see what these tinkerers accomplish next! 

A mini clubhouse! 2nd Post - Boys & Girls Club - Willie Mays Clubhouse

B&GClub -WM (Winter 2018)Brendon BellComment

Wind + tinkering = fun! ...and it was a windy couple days at Willie Mays! 

We thought DeAnte was going to take off before we could store the roof material for our mini clubhouse :-)

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The wind couldn't distract this enthusiastic group from charging ahead on the next stages of the build. There was more plywood to be cut to finish sheathing all our walls.

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 Reggie explains the finer points of jig saw mastery.

Reggie explains the finer points of jig saw mastery.

 Edward putting his new knowledge to good use.

Edward putting his new knowledge to good use.

 Laura should be a Dewalt spokesperson! Look at her perfect cutting form! 

Laura should be a Dewalt spokesperson! Look at her perfect cutting form! 

One of the big accomplishments this week was cutting and installing the shutters on our back wall.

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The kids figured out how they wanted to attach the hinges. Theres so many ways they can bend it provided a lot of design options to consider. 

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 Malieke sanding down some rough edges. 

Malieke sanding down some rough edges. 

And VICTORY! we've got shutters! 

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If only they had wheels...

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The kids even jumped into some detail work crafting custom handles for the shutters and doors. 

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And finally after weeks of anticipation, we finally got to raise the walls and see what our mini clubhouse will look like standing!

 It takes a team effort to raise a mini-clubhouse!

It takes a team effort to raise a mini-clubhouse!

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The weather report from the inside was decidely less windy...

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Our hardworking crew learned a ton this week. They overcame engineering and design challenges, (not to mention weather difficulties) and had the satisfaction of seeing their mini-clubhouse stand for the first time. Next week we're all super excited to install the floor and roof! Keep checking back to see what these tinkerers accomplish next!

A mini clubhouse! 1st Post - Boys & Girls Club - Willie Mays Clubhouse

B&GClub -WM (Winter 2018)Brendon BellComment

Tinkering School is proud to announce an exciting new partnership with the Boys & Girls Club of San Francisco! In 2018 we are piloting two after school tinkering programs: one with the Willie Mays clubhouse located in Hunters Point, and another at our tinkering workshop serving kids from the Mission clubhouse (check out their blog here). 

One of the first challenges and opportunities this partnership presented was we needed to figure out how to bring our tools and shop to the kids at Willie Mays clubhouse, rather than host them at our location. Our solution was to build a mobile tool cabinet/workshop that we can easily transport to any tinkering site.

 A work in progress. The cabinet is modular in order to fit through doorways and function as multiple tool stations.

A work in progress. The cabinet is modular in order to fit through doorways and function as multiple tool stations.

 Stacked up and ready for storage. The two sides lock together.

Stacked up and ready for storage. The two sides lock together.

The cabinet materials, tools, and supplies for the Boys and Girls Club tinkering program were generously funded by a grant from the Miranda Lux Foundation. A big thank you for helping us share our love of tinkering with more kids!

With our tool cabinet ready to go, we were excited to start tinkering. On day one, we got to know one another and learned about our four Tinkering School goals: collaborate and make friends, make mistakes and learn from them, try harder than usual, and make something bigger than ourselves. We also created some group agreements to outline how we will safely and respectfully treat each other, the tools, and the workshop.

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And finally the moment everyone had been waiting for! Tool training!

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At Tinkering School we first learn how to safely use the chop saw, drills, and clamps. These are the three tools we use the most. Later the kids will learn how to use additional tools as they become needed.  

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With our new skills, it was time to design and plan our project. The kids landed on the fun idea of building a giant dog house that then morphed into a mini clubhouse. We thought through the different dimensions - how tall do we want our clubhouse to be? How wide? What kind of siding do we want to use? Will it have windows?

We came up with a plan and a rough blueprint. Time to start measuring and cutting!

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Over the course of the past few weeks we assembled the frames for our clubhouse walls.  

 Malieke and Edward found they could be super productive working together by taking turns drilling and screwing.

Malieke and Edward found they could be super productive working together by taking turns drilling and screwing.

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Next up - sheathing (covering) our walls. The kids discovered the plywood panels helped stabilize the frames - a crucial part of constructing a strong mini clubhouse. Plus they were excited to get a ton of drill practice in!

 Another screw? Sure why not!

Another screw? Sure why not!

 Reggie standing in as a human clamp. Nice work!

Reggie standing in as a human clamp. Nice work!

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Our tinkerers learned how to use the jig saw to cut out the plywood sheathing panels. It quickly became one of the most popular tools.

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Our mini clubhouse is taking shape and it's looking awesome so far! Check back each week to watch our progress as we install windows, doors, a roof and more! 

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