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Animal Homes - Day 5 - Week 8 - SF Day Camp - LAST DAY OF SUMMER CAMP!

Molly MansfieldComment

Another fantastic week of Tinkering School Summer Camp has come to a close! This was also our last week of Summer Day Camp in San Francisco and it was wonderful to end our summer on such a high note!

Tinkerers worked hard on their projects all morning and by afternoon were proud to share their interesting animal homes with the families who came for the big reveal: a beaver dam, a spider nest and trap, and a bear den with a distinctive fairytale influence (think Goldilocks: three sets of things, one too big, one too small, and the third just right!)

Here are some photos of the tinkerers hard at work this morning... (Click, tap or swipe to scroll through the slideshow below)

 Families came for the big reveal of the projects in the afternoon and everyone had the chance to appreciate the big structures that were created with all of our tinkering collaboration before we deconstructed everything at the end! (Click, tap or swipe to scroll through the slideshow below)

There are more photos of our amazing final week of Tinkering Camp - view our Flickr album page for more photos of this great week of camp!

Thank you for a wonderful summer of MAKING MISTAKES AND LEARNING FROM THEM, of COLLABORATING to create some impressive projects, of BUILDING THINGS BIGGER THAN OURSELVES both literally and metaphorically, and of TRYING HARDER THAN USUAL! We have had such a good time tinkering this summer and already we can't wait until next June comes around for another summer session! Look to our website for updates about the tinkering programming that we will be offering in the fall and winter during the school year.

Keep on tinkering, friends!

Animal Homes - Day 4 - Week 8 - SF Day Camp

Molly MansfieldComment

Today was our busiest day of this week of Tinkering Camp! By the time we got to our final reset at the end of the day, all the tools were out in use in the project spaces, the wood supply was dwindling and we only had a handful of 2.5 inch screws left! The paint was being liberally applied, fabric and paracord could be found in each project space, and all the tinkerers and collaborators were tired! What a productive day of collaborating and tinkering we have had...

The spider web group added a crash mat to their structure for safety and after hours of work made the difficult decision NOT to use the carefully cut trapezoid frames they had created. Accepting a change of direction can be difficult and the project group embraced this well - they were even praised for making and accepting the change at our closing circle of the day. (Click, tap or swipe to scroll through the slideshow below)

The bear den group continued to cut many pieces of wood for their large structure and it can safely be said that they are chop saw operating experts by now! They are simultaneously building up their structure and creating furniture for the interior, while having to negotiate the use of a ten-foot ladder and strategizing about the timeline for applying plywood so they don't block the view of the inside for safety. (Click, tap or swipe to scroll through the slideshow below)

The beaver dam group was trying hard to attach all of the pieces they wanted to include in their outer structure, figure out how to attach the dam dome on Friday, and build some furniture for the interior as well. They encountered a moment when part of the group got sidelined with some project decorating which upset other members of the group. They met to talk it out and in the end decided to turn the decorating into an element of their project, giving the wood some genuine branch-like appearance. They were proud to have come to such an agreeable compromise together! (Click, tap or swipe to scroll through the slideshow below)

During the closing circle of the day there were many stories shared about how tinkerers made mistakes and learned from them and also how they tried harder than usual - two of our Tinkering School goals. They realized they hadn't talked much about building something bigger than themselves, but pointed out that every group had a huge structure in progress (and even if they don't notice, they're certainly bonding as a group and creating community bigger than the individuals who showed up not knowing each other on Monday morning!) They agreed to focus on their collaboration as we approach tomorrow, our last day of Tinkering Summer Camp and this amazing week of building animal homes together! (Click, tap or swipe to scroll through the slideshow below)

Be sure to view our Flickr album page for more photos of this great week of camp!

Animal Homes - Day 2 - Week 8 - SF Day Camp

Molly MansfieldComment

Day 2 of Animal Homes tinkering went very well! Each project group tried hard today and collaborated together to start building some amazing things: (click, tap or scroll view slideshow)

Tinkerers were practicing the tool skills they learned yesterday and learned to use the band saw as well. We even broke out some mathematical calculations to plan for the spider home! (click, tap or scroll view slideshow)

We also had a conversation during our morning circle answering the questions: "What is Tinkering?" and "Why do we tinker?" Tinkerers had some great answers! (click, tap or scroll view slideshow)

Be sure to check out more photos of our tinker week on our Flickr album page (here)!

Animal Homes - Day 1 - Week 8 - SF Day Camp

Molly MansfieldComment

Today we started the first day of our final week of Summer Tinkering Camp! We're excited that this is shaping up to be an exciting week... our theme this week is Animal Homes!

Our tinkerers started the day by making Group Agreements about how they plan to interact this week and also by learning to use the tools: (click, tap or swipe to see the slideshow of photos)

After lunch, tinkerers learned that our theme for the week is Animal Homes and the three project challenges are to build: a beaver dam, a spider web/home, and a bear den/cave! Tinkerers chose one of the projects to join to start the brainstorming and design process today. Some groups even started cutting wood and building this afternoon! Here are some photos of the afternoon:(click, tap or swipe to see the slideshow of photos)

During our closing circle for the day tinkerers shared stories about how they tried to achieve the Tinkering School goals today: Collaborate and Make Friends; Tried Harder Than Usual; Make Mistakes and Learn From Them; Build Something Bigger Than Ourselves. We were impressed that, unprompted, tinkerers also gave each other praise and encouragement for helping each other out today - what a great group! It's going to be a great week...

Check out our Flickr album page for more photos from today - click HERE for Flickr

Mission to Mars! - Day 5 - Mark Day School

Mark Day - Mars (2017Brendon BellComment

Friday! How'd that sneak up on us so fast?! Our adventurous astronaut tinkerers jumped into high gear to ready the ship and add more details on our martian colony. 

Abbey sawing away. The kids got a LOT of practice this week - we used a ton of wood! 

Abbey sawing away. The kids got a LOT of practice this week - we used a ton of wood! 

Jaden and Taelon adjusting the monorail wheels.

Jaden and Taelon adjusting the monorail wheels.

It quickly became apparent that handrails were needed for spinning cylinder section of our ship.

And Sam put the final touches on his epic martian claw machine he had been working on all week. 

Don't forget the wings!! Kendra and Carley attached perhaps the most important part of the ship.

And voila! Our ship was ship shape and ready to ship off to Mars to deliver a shipment of shipworthy astronauts. (that was fun! wasn't sure how many "ships" I could get in there :)

3...2...1... blastoff! 

It was an incredible mission and our fearless tinkerers proved to be more than up for the challenge! All along the journey, they demonstrated their fortitude working hard on tasks that were more challenging than usual. They faced their fears and made awesome mistakes and learned lots from them. They ended up building a GIANT spaceship and Martian colony that was way bigger than a whole bunch of them combined. And lastly they made many friendships and learned to build and collaborate with each other in pursuit of a common goal - which was the mission all along ;)

Mission to Marks! - Day 4 - Mark Day School

Mark Day - Mars (2017Brendon BellComment

The countdown is beginning! 9...8...7... 

Our ship is shaping up. Our mars colony is being populated by an eclectic group of martians. Its almost time to make the long journey and establish first contact! 

The spaceship team worked hard to assemble and attach the middle cylindrical section. It will spin and provide gravity for our astronauts during the long journey. 

The crews' quarters was upgraded with a fold up table. 

And Corey worked hard on building a study / sopaceworthy door.

And the cockpit is nearly finished!

Check out the retractable sun shade!

Check out the retractable sun shade!

The monorail in our martian colony has also been installed between two spacescrapers!

On one end, there's an elevator that will transport the martians from the surface. You might have noticed that the martians may be mini...?

And they're super cute!

The countdown continues...6...5... 

Stay tuned to our radio frequencies to see what incredible new additions this hard working group of tinkerers put together!

Mission to Mars! - Day 3 - Mark Day School

Mark Day - Mars (2017Brendon BellComment

Another fun day of building! And it got off to a hilarious start :) One of our tinkering school goals is "make mistakes and learn from them." Well we had an all time classic on our hands :)

A group of our tinkerers spent several minutes diligently building only to accidentally discover what happens when you build a circle around a pole that can't be moved... 

The lesson from this mistake might fall under the category of choose your workspace wisely... :)

There was all kinds of other great mistakes made throughout the rest of the day too.  We learned from them and in the process created some awesome additions to our spaceship and martian colony.

Luke installs a button on the control panel.

Luke installs a button on the control panel.

Julian builds a claw device for picking up geological samples on the surface of mars.

Julian builds a claw device for picking up geological samples on the surface of mars.

A martian elevator!

A martian elevator!

Taelon and Jacob learn how to use a new tool - the drill press.

Taelon and Jacob learn how to use a new tool - the drill press.

More and more Martian skyscrapers keep popping up.

More and more Martian skyscrapers keep popping up.

After a full day of building, its important to relax and let loose in the crew's quarters. Looking forward to see what this hardworking crew put together tomorrow!

Mission to Mars! - Day 2 - Mark Day School

Mark Day - Mars (2017Brendon BellComment

Here we come mars! Another day of tinkering, and this crew has already put their newfound building skills to good use and made a ton of progress!

The martian colony is coming along nicely. We've discovered Martians like public transportation so were building an elevated monorail to go between some tall skyscrapers - or spacescrapers???

And the spaceship is being built at warp speed!

Jaden, Jacob, and Charlie attach the engine.

Jaden, Jacob, and Charlie attach the engine.

Perfect shirt Griffin! 

Perfect shirt Griffin! 

What's a spaceship without a couch? Carley, Abbey, and Kendra decided to work together to build an awesome couch. The crew's quarters are going to be super comfy! 

And the spaceship cockpit is quickly taking shape. Control panels are popping up all over the place. Front panels, side panels, tons of room for tons of buttons.

It's awesome to see how stoked this group is to work and collaborate together. On to the next day of awesome building! Can't wait to see what this group of tinkerers comes up with next!

Triangles! Day 2, Week 7, SF

Triangles (2017)Piper AlldredgeComment

Day 2 of the great triangle experiment here in San Francisco! 

Camilo cuts an 8' board with a 30d miter. The truss bridge group hit the ground running this morning! They ended yesterday with such a solid plan for how to build their bridge, everyone felt ready to go this morning. 

Camilo cuts an 8' board with a 30d miter. The truss bridge group hit the ground running this morning! They ended yesterday with such a solid plan for how to build their bridge, everyone felt ready to go this morning. 

How many different ways can you build a triangle out of wood? How does the miter guide on the chopsaw work? How long is a hypotenuse in relation to to its adjacent sides? We had so many great questions to address  today at camp! 

Claire cuts a perfect equilateral triangle out of plywood on the bandsaw. One design idea for the dome group is to connect boards together at the ends using triangular gussets, in order to avoid cutting so miters. Claire got straight to work on the prototype! 

Claire cuts a perfect equilateral triangle out of plywood on the bandsaw. One design idea for the dome group is to connect boards together at the ends using triangular gussets, in order to avoid cutting so miters. Claire got straight to work on the prototype! 

While the bridge group started today with a detailed plan, the dome and pyramid groups still had some figuring out to do--what's the minimum number of triangles to make a spheroid? How long will the sides of our pyramid be? If the miter guide on the chopsaw cuts up to 50d miters, how will we cut the angles for equilateral triangles? 

Eve got really familiar with the miter guide on the chopsaw today! The miter guide starts at 0d, so it's important to remember that you're cutting a certain number of degrees off 90, or cutting degrees off the end of the wood. So, if we cut 30d off the end of a 36" board, we'll end up with the 60d corner of an equilateral triangle--perfect! 

Eve got really familiar with the miter guide on the chopsaw today! The miter guide starts at 0d, so it's important to remember that you're cutting a certain number of degrees off 90, or cutting degrees off the end of the wood. So, if we cut 30d off the end of a 36" board, we'll end up with the 60d corner of an equilateral triangle--perfect! 

After fixing one of the boards (one was cut like a parallelogram instead of like a trapezoid, did you catch that?), Jasper, Wolf and Eve successfully built triangle number one! 

After fixing one of the boards (one was cut like a parallelogram instead of like a trapezoid, did you catch that?), Jasper, Wolf and Eve successfully built triangle number one! 

The dome group's polydron model for their wooden dome. 

The dome group's polydron model for their wooden dome. 

Isadore and Peter start to stage some of their equilateral triangles, while they figure out how they'll put them together to make the dome.  

Isadore and Peter start to stage some of their equilateral triangles, while they figure out how they'll put them together to make the dome.  

First things first, the pyramid group needed to get the center beam upright. 

First things first, the pyramid group needed to get the center beam upright. 

Jayden makes a drawing to show Ethan how they'll be able to connect two shorter pieces to make the extra long board for the sides of the pyramid. 

Jayden makes a drawing to show Ethan how they'll be able to connect two shorter pieces to make the extra long board for the sides of the pyramid. 

And here it is in real life! Great work everyone! 

And here it is in real life! Great work everyone! 

These tinkerers are already have so many beautiful realizations about shape, length and quantity relationships. It's a great thing to participate in! The work we do is social, spacial, artistic, mathematic and physical. And it's great when the kids start to notice that too! And apply some things they've learned at school to make big, cool things to play with. 

Siri explains how she realized that, since they used 8' boards to make the trusses, their total height will be shorter than 8', which is what they had planned. 

Siri explains how she realized that, since they used 8' boards to make the trusses, their total height will be shorter than 8', which is what they had planned. 

Mission to Mars! - Day 1 - Mark Day School

Mark Day - Mars (2017Brendon BellComment

Dun......dun...dun...! da da! With the 2001 space odyssey theme playing in the background, our new crew of tinkerers discovered that we'll be traveling to mars to visit a martian colony! 

Before we jumped into building our spaceship though,  we discussed some important tinkering school goals that we'll try to meet this week. After just one day, these dedicated tinkerers have already shown that they are up to the challenge of trying harder than usual, making mistakes and learning from them, collaborating with each other, and making something WAY bigger than ourselves. 

We also came up with some group agreements of how we want to treat each other and stay safe in the workshop.

And then it was time to learn how to use some tools!

Clamps are essential - even when building in outer space!

Clamps are essential - even when building in outer space!

Everyone gained a healthy respect for the "blood bubble" when using the chop saw. (The zone that all fingers, hands, and other extremities must stay away from.) 

And we had time to practice drilling and screwing. We'll be doing a LOT of drilling this week. By Friday, these tinkerers will be seasoned pros!

After some grub and play time at the park, we jumped into designing our spaceship and martian colony. So many awesome ideas! The martians seem to like elevated mono-rails and the spaceship is gonna be BIG...stay tuned to see how they develop!

With our plans under our belts, we jumped straight away into building. And these tinkerers are quick! - they got a ton done - even in a shortened afternoon build session. Can't wait to see what they come up with a full day of building tomorrow! 

We'll be blasting off in no time to meet our martian buddies!

To check out all the photos from the day, visit our Flickr page!

Jack and the Beanstalk Finale! - Mark Day School

Mark Day Jack Bean (2017)Brendon BellComment

Five days ago this imaginative group of tinkerers was playing around with just a bean of an idea...

They planted it...

...and watched it grow with some unusual and exciting features!

A wolf even made an appearance. (Can you see it's face? Ferocious!)

After 5 days of collaboration, trying harder than usual, and making lots and lots of wonderful mistakes and learning from them, we arrived at the moment of the great unveiling! And this project was definitely bigger than ourselves!

To enter the world of Jack and/or Veronica and the beanstalk, you must read the story cover to cover...

...and only once the final page is flipped, may you pass through the portal into the story world!

You will find yourself in a perplexing labyrinth filled with trees and climbing spiders and squirrels...

...and then you must crawl through a long and super spooky tunnel.

Watch out for the wolf! It will try to get you as soon as you exit the tunnel!

And finally you will arrive at the triangular (and very sturdy) beanstalk. When you're at the top don't forget to drop a golden egg down the pipe!

The egg will be waiting for you next to your getaway car and you'll be ready to zoom off into fantastic futures of great fortune!

Tinkering School is dedicated to empowering young people with the skills (both social/emotional and building) to influence and shape their worlds around them. Its been a joy collaborating with this group of enthusiastic tinkerers and seeing their self-confidence and building competence take off!  

After days of designing, building, collaborating, failing, learning, and persevering together, we hope these tinkerers will take away with them the knowledge that they have incredible capacity to accomplish magical things - especially when they work together.

To see all the photos from the week, check out our Flickr page!

Jack and the Beanstalk - Day 4 - Mark Day School

Mark Day Jack Bean (2017)Beth McMurphyComment

It's Thursday at Tinkering Camp! We had an overcast day for our final full day of tinkering -- almost as if that mythical giant knows what's coming tomorrow!

Today saw our tinkerers asking questions of all sorts:

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 "How do you make the pops in a pop-up book?" 

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"How do you connect things that don't line up?" 

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"How much chi do you have?"

"How do we make a ladder stable enough for climbing?"

And many more!

While we still have many details to fine-tune tomorrow before our visitors arrive, we are finished or nearly completed with a number of elements in our "Jack (or Veronica, depending on whom you ask) and the Beanstalk" adventure:  the book is bound and resting on a stand for easy reading, the portal connects to the beanstalk maze, the tunnel is finished, and there's even a small forest of trees, a wolf that jumps to greet you, and a cart to transport you!

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We can't wait to share what we've done with you! See you Friday at 2:30!

Check out more photos from today and this week on our Flickr stream!

Jack and the Beanstalk - Day 3 - Mark Day School

Mark Day Jack Bean (2017)Brendon BellComment

"Collaborate and make friends." Its such a treat to see this crew wholeheartedly embrace this important tinkering school goal. We've witnessed so many examples of collaboration and friendship this week - and its only Wednesday! Tinkering is a blast, but when we collaborate while we tinker, magic happens!

Taelon and Davy carefully help each other line up and attach the hinges for the popup book.

And voila! - our pages turn!

All hands on deck! When everyone has a job and helps each other, building is so much easier and fun too.

The maze, ladder, and tunnel took a lot of wood and other materials to build, so our tinkerers had lots of time to practice cutting.

Milo attaches a beam on the support structure for the jumping wolf.

The wolf is alive! Look out! (Btw is it just me or does it look like a wolf in sheeps clothing?)

The wolf is alive! Look out! (Btw is it just me or does it look like a wolf in sheeps clothing?)

Arthur attaches a fence post for the giant maze.

Check out Theo's spider that climbs up a tree with a pulley! We have some great engineers in our group this week! 

The wild and whimsical world of Jack and the Beanstalk is coming to life before our eyes. These tinkerers are so excited to share their work with their parents and the rest of the world in just a couple days!

Check out all the photos from the week on our Flickr page!

 

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