Tinkering School

come make amazing things with us

Flying Dragons (Fall2018)

Flying Dragons - Week 7-8

Flying Dragons (Fall2018)Julie PeriComment

It’s a bird, it’s a plane, no…it’s a flying dragon. With a final push in the last two weeks, all three dragons took flight and delivered the egg to its nest.

On the Baby Harley team Juliana and Tommy added supports to their dragon’s neck and head.

P1030944.JPG
P1030956.JPG

Hello?

P1030965.JPG

Building dragons is not possible without having fun along the way :-)

P1030969.JPG

On the dragon you ride in team, Olivia focused on attaching the dragon head.

IMG_7485.JPG
Peter discovered that clamps are great for attaching perpendicular pieces.

Peter discovered that clamps are great for attaching perpendicular pieces.

Meanwhile, Asher added wings to the dragon you ride under team’s dragon.

P1130760.JPG

After Asher was done with that, he and August added screw supports for the structural safety of their dragon, on both the underbelly and the neck.

P1130761.JPG
P1130765.JPG

Then - before we all knew it the final day was here! We did a couple of safety tests then we soared across the school in our dragons.

The under team went first, with Katie on board to test, and…it worked!

IMG_7939.JPG

Caulder tested the fire dropping mechanism on his team’s dragon while loading up the next tinkerer on board.

IMG_20181114_171908.jpg

Each team got to ride on their own dragon. Jackson, used his team’s egg catchment system successfully deliver the egg into the nest.

IMG_20181114_172106.jpg

Next up were the dragons you ride in team. Clay and Skylan rode together first, followed by Olivia and Adele, and Peter and Nick. All three pairs successfully dropped their egg into the nest as well!

IMG_20181114_173414.jpg
P1170234.JPG
P1170236.JPG

Last and certainly not lease, the Baby Harley team got their turn on the zipline. Hold on tight - this dragon goes fast!

IMG_20181114_175134_1.jpg
IMG_20181114_174813.jpg

After a day of fun and successful dragon riding, our tenacious tinkerers went home knowing the satisfaction of eight weeks of hard work and fun. See you all around next time! And don’t forget to check out all the photos from our flying dragons tinkering session!

P1200178.JPG

Flying Dragons - Week 6

Flying Dragons (Fall2018)Brendon BellComment

Our dragons left the ground for the first time today! They may not have their wings yet, but our tinkerers wanted to test how well the dragons took to being in the air.

Before the testing began though, there was lots of building to be done!

Asher and Jackson finished securing the roof on their team’s dragon.

Asher and Jackson finished securing the roof on their team’s dragon.

Adele and Daphne also completed their awesome dragon egg nest!

Adele and Daphne also completed their awesome dragon egg nest!

August recruited Jackson to help him build some cross supports for the dragon head he’s been carefully crafting.

August recruited Jackson to help him build some cross supports for the dragon head he’s been carefully crafting.

The team building the dragon that will carry riders inside its belly made lots of progress thanks to lots of teamwork and extra focus.

P1120292.JPG

Peter worked on repositioning some eyebolts that the zip line ropes will attach to and Nicholas learned how to use a hot knife for cutting through and sealing the ends of synthetic rope.

P1120298.JPG
P1120299.JPG
P1120317.JPG
Olivia was excited to use the band saw! It’s tricky to keep the blade moving along a line, but with her sharp eye, she made some super precise cuts to make pieces for her chair.

Olivia was excited to use the band saw! It’s tricky to keep the blade moving along a line, but with her sharp eye, she made some super precise cuts to make pieces for her chair.

Meanwhile, the small “baby” dragon team worked hard to finish installing the hardware that the zip line ropes will attach to.

P1200029.JPG
P1200030.JPG

And then the testing began!

Whooo! It worked and Tommy proved it can support lots of weight!!

Whooo! It worked and Tommy proved it can support lots of weight!!

The team building the dragon that carries riders under its belly also completed their frame and suspension points. It was incredible to see their very large dragon body raise up into the sky!

P1200038.JPG
The rider cockpit is going to be so much fun to ride in. There’s even a side window!

The rider cockpit is going to be so much fun to ride in. There’s even a side window!

There’s something incredible about seeing a giant construction you build take form! And then to see it raise into the air…sheer excitement!!! :-)

There’s something incredible about seeing a giant construction you build take form! And then to see it raise into the air…sheer excitement!!! :-)

With only two more weeks left of our Tinkering after school session, our hardworking crew is eager to give our dragon skeletons wings, heads, tails, and so much more. The dragons have been slowly incubating over the past six weeks and you wont want to miss them as they hatch and take flight!

And don’t forget, all the fun photos from the day and previous weeks can be seen on our Flickr page!

Flying Dragons - Week 5

Flying Dragons (Fall2018)Brendon BellComment

We have a zip line! It’s been a long held dream here at our Tinkering School workshop, and now we finally have an 80ft zip line running through the workspace :-) We couldn’t be more excited to have this enthusiastic crew of tinkerers help us test it out. One of the teams made the first attempt to suspend their dragon’s frame on the line.

P1130604.JPG
P1130602.JPG

It took the coordination of everyone to raise it up and figure out how to attach the support ropes to the zip line pulleys.

P1130605.JPG

They quickly discovered amidst lots of laughter that with the weight of their dragon, a kid or two, and the sag of the line, that they would need to shorten their support ropes…

P1190983.JPG
P1190988.JPG

There was lots more planning and fine tuning to be done as well. Some of the kids also tried their hand at using some pull saws to trim up some uneven joints on the frame.

The team constructing the “riding below” dragon also made lots of progress.

Jackson showed August the rider cubicle that will be attached under the dragon’s belly.

Jackson showed August the rider cubicle that will be attached under the dragon’s belly.

Adele joined Daphne’s project, helping build the dragon nest.

Adele joined Daphne’s project, helping build the dragon nest.

P1130631.JPG

August and Emma had a fun challenge in figuring out how to attach their dragon’s jaw to the rest of the head so it moves!

And the final dragon team nearly completed their dragon body.

P1130640.JPG

The team carefully measured and cut their plywood paneling and they were amazed to see it all fit together like a puzzle! It pays off to take time and make precise measurements and straight cuts.

P1130644.JPG
Truman proudly demonstrating how the dragon horns he cut out will attach to the dragon’s head. They will also function as handles for the rider.

Truman proudly demonstrating how the dragon horns he cut out will attach to the dragon’s head. They will also function as handles for the rider.

P1130623.JPG

With only a few more weeks left in the session, the kids are super excited to begin test riding their dragons as well as figure out ways to collect their dragon eggs mid flight!

For more photos from the week and the rest of the session, you can visit our Flickr page. See you next week!

Flying Dragons - Week 4

Flying Dragons (Fall2018)Brendon BellComment

Our dragons may not be flying quite yet, but they took a giant leap forward today!

P1030822.JPG
P1030804.JPG

The “riding above” team completed their frame/seat. The pieces fit together perfectly thanks to the team’s careful measurements. It may be the smallest of the dragons, but it will be exciting to ride on its back as it flies down the zip line which will be almost 80 feet long!

P1030825.JPG

This team is a picture of awesome collaboration at work. They took turns helping each other hold down wood while the other drilled, they generously shared their tools, and they made sure everyone’s ideas were heard. They’re so organized, they even started planning next weeks task list all on their own!

P1130532.JPG
P1030842.JPG

The “riding under” team also made lots of progress. They completed their roof frame, cut out the roof and began attaching it all together. It was so exciting for Asher and Adele to finally get to use the jig saw too! Adele was nervous at first and wanted to wait before trying it out. At Tinkering School using a particular tool is always optional and we never pressure any kids to use them. We do gently encourage kids to face their fear and reassure them that we will be watching them and making sure they’re safe. As a result, we have witnessed countless moments of kids exclaiming “that was fun!!!” after moments before feeling too nervous to touch a saw or tool. Kids are more capable than they know and were on a mission to provide opportunities and experiences for them to discover just that :)

P1030826.JPG
P1030828.JPG
P1030811.JPG
Calder helps August attach the supports to connect the sides of the head to make it “3D”. The head will eventually be attached to the neck and frame. Its going to be a very large dragon!

Calder helps August attach the supports to connect the sides of the head to make it “3D”. The head will eventually be attached to the neck and frame. Its going to be a very large dragon!

P1120198.JPG

Daphne tackled the very important task of building the dragon’s nest that the dragons will have to deposit their eggs into at the end of the zip line. Such a creative design and Daphne discovered it will provide lots of great drilling practice.

The “riding inside” team also finished the floor of their dragons belly and even had time to attach large eye-bolts that will be used to hoist the dragon in the air and attach to the zip line pulleys.

P1190942.JPG

Our young tinkerers had a lot of fun using the really big drill bits to make holes large enough for the eye-bolts. It’s fun to drill holes, especially holes so big you can easily see through them.

P1190953.JPG

So much fun was had by all this week! And wow did these teams make a ton of progress on their projects through the process. We can’t wait to see what they accomplish next week!

To see more fun photos from today and previous weeks, be sure to visit our Flickr page!

Flying Dragons - Week 3

Flying Dragons (Fall2018)Brendon BellComment

Rawwwr! With our tool training and design planning behind us, this week we had all a full session of tinkering and building! We met with our three dragon groups for a few minutes to make sure we were all on the same page, and then it was time to get our tools and materials.

IMG_6779.JPG
IMG_6774.JPG

The kids raided “scrap alley” for pieces of plywood. Some were really heavy and long so all hands were needed.

When plywood pieces aren’t the perfect size, we have multiple different saws we can use to cut them into the shape we need. Jackson learned how to safely use the band saw and had lots of practice cutting straight lines as he had multiple pieces he needed to trim.

IMG_6782.JPG

August used the jig saw again to continue cutting out the shape of a dragon head for his team’s project. He learned how he can cut more intricate designs with the jig saws’s smaller blade.

IMG_6784.JPG

And Daphne had lots of practice using the chop saw cutting up pieces for the dragon egg nest. As the dragons fly down the zip line, they will pick up a dragon egg midway and deposit it in their nest at the other end.

IMG_6788.JPG
IMG_6796.JPG
IMG_6799.JPG

Adele and Asher teamed up to construct the body for the “riding under” dragon. They used a variety of clamps to help hold the pieces of wood together and took turns screwing and drilling. So efficient!

IMG_6802.JPG

Meanwhile, the “riding inside” dragon team got to work building their own frame and attaching a solid floor that could hold up multiple riders. There were lots of opportunities for everyone to practice their drilling technique.

IMG_6817.JPG

The team also came up with an ingenious way to craft a curved body for their dragon. The PVC pipe is attached to the floor with long bolts.

Olivia estimates if she’ll still fit inside.

Olivia estimates if she’ll still fit inside.

The “riding above” dragon team also made lots of progress constructing the ribs and frame of their dragon.

IMG_6824.JPG
P1030775.JPG

Holding down a piece of wood is accomplished with a variety of methods: clamps, a vise, a helping hand, and as Truman demonstrates, using our entire body weight can be helpful sometimes too!

P1030780.JPG

The satisfaction of precision in action :-) A simple frame built precisely can be more challenging to construct than we might think.

P1030786.JPG

Juliana also had a chance to try out the band saw. Sometimes with a longer piece, a helping hand is needed. Thanks Truman! While Juliana guided the wood through the blade, Truman kept his hands flat underneath the board, holding it up level with the table.

P1030791.JPG

We saw so many examples of great collaboration and teamwork this week and the projects are rapidly taking shape as a result. We’re super excited to soon be testing out how well these dragons fly down the zip line. To see all the fun, be sure to check back next week and don’t forget to visit our Flickr page!

Flying Dragons - Week 2

Flying Dragons (Fall2018)Julie PeriComment

Hear ye, hear ye it is time to announce this session’s design challenge extravaganza! Aha - what is that? Do you hear a distant roar, a plume of smoke! Why yes!! It’s a dragon!

P1190851.JPG

This session of the after school Tinkering program we are building dragons you can ride on, in and under! After we discovered that it was indeed Emma and not a real dragon that was soaring through our shop, we discussed in further detail the nature of our design challenge. Not only are we building dragons that can hold a human and fly on a cable that spans the length of the school, each dragon also need to be able to grab and release an egg mid-flight.

P1190855.JPG
P1190856.JPG

We split into three groups, dragons you can ride on, dragons you can ride in and dragons you can ride under and set to work designing our dragons. Each student began by making their own design, then doing a gallery walk of their team’s drawings and presenting each of their ideas to their group.

P1190863.JPG

Peter, Nicholas and Skylan draw individual designs in the dragons you ride in group.

IMG_6662.JPG

The tinkerers in the dragons you ride under group discuss their ideas and brainstorm with their teammates.

IMG_6670.JPG

Clay presents his idea to his team in the dragons you ride in group.

Next we incorporated all of the ideas into a single design and got to work. We love to let our ideas go WILD while designing, and once our imaginations to get going, we ground our ideas by investigating what our material and size constraints are.

IMG_6675.JPG
IMG_0130.JPG

Peter and Skylan take measurements for their dragon’s wings.

P1190871.JPG

And August uses the jig saw.

IMG_6683.JPG

We had a great day full of fun, creativity and serendipity - Olivia excitedly shows her school mascot’s shirt, which she wore before knowing our design challenge was dragons! A true tinkering miracle. See you all next week!

P1190862.JPG

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