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February Fish 2016

Aquarium! - February Break Camp - Day 5

February Fish 2016Lindsay JonesComment

Fridays are thrilling at Tinkering School. The projects are aaaaaaaalmost done, we only have 3/4 of the build time as a regular day, and there are so many last minute things to tinker out!  We start the day out by reminding everyone that safety is more important than finishing. 

The Castle get crenellations!!

The Castle get crenellations!!

Today the Castle's towers were crenellated, raised and then joined by a beautiful archway. This project had the experience of some tinkerers that had built tower 1, and the fresh energy of some kids that had come to try out another project. They worked so smoothly all morning that, the afternoon was spent growing marine creatures on all the substrate that they had created!

Anemone!

Anemone!

All morning the Jellyfish grew tentacles! Really long ones. Twisty colored ones. Translucent rainbow ones!

The team twists together streamers and then sheaths them in plastic.

The team twists together streamers and then sheaths them in plastic.

By lunch time, the Jellyfish was complete!  The tinkerers decided to challenge themselves by trying to build a whole project in the short afternoon build session: a treasure chest!

Henry and Jay use pieces leftover from the Jellyfish to make a curved lid!

Henry and Jay use pieces leftover from the Jellyfish to make a curved lid!

The Fish team had quite the day ahead of them. There was some skin left to attach and then they had to build the contraption that would allow it to swim around the aquarium!  

The kids split into work groups, so that they could work on both really important tasks at the same time. In the afternoon they all got together to finish the support cart that would hold the delicate Fish.

These tinkerers all worked down to the very last second, finishing and improving their projects. Some helped each other fit screws and washers together and some helped each other reset the shop. 

We are so proud of what these tinkerers built! Round, flexible and lightweight Jelly to swim overhead. Fish with complicated angles and silky skin. And a massive castle with moving parts! And don't forget: new friends!!

Aquarium! - February Break Camp - Day 4

February Fish 2016Lindsay JonesComment

Today we tinkered all.day.long.

The Fish's silky skin proved difficult to attach to it's ribs. The finicky staple gun had to be abandoned and after much trial and error the group figured out a system of hardware and teamwork that enabled them to keep the fabric in place without it getting caught in the drill and ripped to shreds!

First Evan cuts a tiny hole in the fabric where the screw needs to go.

First Evan cuts a tiny hole in the fabric where the screw needs to go.

Next your team mate holds the fabric taught while you drill a hole in the wood through the fabric window.

Next your team mate holds the fabric taught while you drill a hole in the wood through the fabric window.

To make sure your window and hole stay aligned, your friend keeps holding the fabric while you get the screw and washer ready and drive them in!

To make sure your window and hole stay aligned, your friend keeps holding the fabric while you get the screw and washer ready and drive them in!

The Fish team really got a good flow going on. It was slow going, but they worked at it all day and got the fish skinned!

The Jellyfish team had to figure out how to make a giant rectangle piece of plastic curve around their squishy round Jellyfish frame. Whoa. Yesterday they tried wrapping like a scarf, then covering it over the top like a dome. That's when they had the idea to make curved supports. 

The supports helped make shape more jelly-y, but that flat plastic still wasn't cooperating.  They thought about other round things that people make from flat materials: hats, sports balls, globes. We got some spheres and tried covering them with paper in different ways.

Elise noticed that the shapes the frame was making were like pizza slices, so she covered the basketball in pizza shaped pieces.

Elise noticed that the shapes the frame was making were like pizza slices, so she covered the basketball in pizza shaped pieces.

Pizza slices were great! Jellyfish team started making Plastic Pizzas!

Pizza slices were great! Jellyfish team started making Plastic Pizzas!

Over at the Castle a drawbridge is being engineered, while the portcullis is finished and a connecting archway is assembled!

Also, Mohan solved his Rubix Cube in 47 seconds, while spinning on the merry-go-round.

Also, Mohan solved his Rubix Cube in 47 seconds, while spinning on the merry-go-round.

Aquarium! - February Break Camp - Day 3

February Fish 2016Lindsay JonesComment

Wednesdays at Tinkering School are exciting and exhausting. We have figured out how to wield the tools and how to work together, so ideas can come to life quickly and plans change as soon as we can think of a better way to solve the problem.

Winne and Elise test out using screws and washers to attach jellyfish guts. Fabric and drills are tricky.

Winne and Elise test out using screws and washers to attach jellyfish guts. Fabric and drills are tricky.

The next fastener they test is tape!

The next fastener they test is tape!

After trying out knots and a staple gun, these tinkerers decided staples were the strongest and most efficient way to hang jelly guts!

After trying out knots and a staple gun, these tinkerers decided staples were the strongest and most efficient way to hang jelly guts!

Henry and Mohan test a block and tackle rig to hoist the Jellyfish.

Henry and Mohan test a block and tackle rig to hoist the Jellyfish.

What happens when we try and keep the ropes separated by tape!?

What happens when we try and keep the ropes separated by tape!?

Time to skin the fish! Is this wood flexible enough?

Time to skin the fish! Is this wood flexible enough?

Fish team decided to go with the extra stretchy, extra silky fish skin.

Fish team decided to go with the extra stretchy, extra silky fish skin.

Over at the Castle Lincoln is assembling a pulley to raise  the port-cullis they made in one afternoon!

Over at the Castle Lincoln is assembling a pulley to raise the port-cullis they made in one afternoon!

Katherine tests the knots that will keep the portcullis from cutting any tinkerers in half.

Katherine tests the knots that will keep the portcullis from cutting any tinkerers in half.

More photos on our Flickr account!

Aquarium! - February Break Camp - Day 1

February Fish 2016Lindsay JonesComment

This week we are going to turn Tinkering School into a huge Aquarium! When the Collaborators started imagining what their dream aquarium would contain some went huge like the aquariums that fill whole builds and some went small - like you would have in your living room. So we are starting off the week with an Underwater Castle for the fish to live in, a huge swimming Jellyfish, and of course lots of Fish to swim around!

We are so excited to see the transformation of the space by the end of the week, because these kids are working together and hard! I don't know if we've ever had so much built in one afternoon as today!


The tinkerers creating the Jellyfish were listening to each other's creative ideas to recreate all the strange and mysterious parts that cnidarians have and smoothly combined them into a really exciting plan!

Over where the Fishes team was trying to figure out the best way to make a swimming school, they had a list of priorities and were systematically going through options and figuring out the best way to solve things like, "How can we get the most fish moving around?", "How are we going to control the fish?" and "How are the fish going to move?!"

They decided to make a fish first, so that they would know for sure what kind of thing they were going to have to make swim through the air.

The Underwater Castle tinkerers made their plan and got to work quick!  Things like "How can I help you?" and "Excuse me, can you steady this wood for me?" could be heard all afternoon in their building area and with such great teamwork and enthusiasm they had all 4 walls framed by Shop Reset time! Wowee!!

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