Tinkering School

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Tinkering Summer 2016 Comes to a Close

Goodbye Summer 2016!Amanda SimonsComment

The final week of Summer Tinkering Day Camp came to a close on Friday. It's hard to believe it's over already! We tried very hard to meet our tinkering goals this summer and, let's be honest, we had a really fun time in the process! We got to tinker with really great human beings and enjoyed collaborating and making friends. We also made many mistakes, which was really helpful even if it was difficult at times. And we're proud to have built so many BIG things this summer - both our projects and our community. 

It's been great, Summer Tinkering Day Camp, thanks for everything!

Let's all keep tinkering this fall!

 

The End of a Great Tinkering Summer

Goodbye Summer 2016!Amanda SimonsComment

Well, here it is. The end of August. We have had so many fun projects at Junior Day Camp this summer, from Dinosaurs to Poop Week and Space Week to Get Across the River! The time just flew by and we feel so lucky to have done so much collaborating, worked with so many great tinkerers, built BIG things, tried REALLY hard, and made so many excellent mistakes. Let's do it again next summer! Let the fall tinkering begin!

Cross the River - Friday!!!!

Juniors The River (2016)Amanda SimonsComment

What an intense building week at Junior Day Camp! We can hardly believe we made it to Friday!

The morning was our final building session and it was important for us all to GO SLOW. When we are running out of time to do things that we want to do, too often we will rush, make silly mistakes (the kind that maybe we should have ALREADY learned from), or even get hurt. We were mindful to slow down and focus on collaborating instead of finishing the project. In fact, we even talked about how finishing the projects is NOT one of our four Tinkering School goals!

Cross the River - Thursday!

Juniors The River (2016)Amanda SimonsComment

It turns out that it's really hard to cross an imaginary river. It's really hard to build a bridge and a train out of precut wood using teamwork and hardwork and lots of planning. We've spend the last two days making some big progress on these projects, despite that it's been really, really, hard!

Tomorrow, we wrap everything up and show it off in the afternoon, and I can't wait to see what happens!

The Crank - Session 9 - Day Two

The Crank (2016)Max MercierComment

Day 2 showed a lot of progress made on our three projects! 

After a brief design and planning meeting, the crank team started construction on the other side of the hamster wheel as well as the base.

The crank team building their electric tower style base

The crank team building their electric tower style base

Over at the windmill team, the main structure was clamped together in preparation for being screwed in tomorrow!

And the escalator team got their main frame screwed together!

Another thing that the escalator team found out was, when cutting out puzzle pieces from wood, it's always better to use the band saw, rather than the jigsaw.

A puzzle piece cut out on the jigsaw.....notice the nice cut on the other side (made on the band saw)

A puzzle piece cut out on the jigsaw.....notice the nice cut on the other side (made on the band saw)

Another rad day at TSD! 

The Crank - Session 9 - Day 1

The Crank (2016)Max MercierComment

It is officially our last week at Tinkering School this summer! :( :( :(

To finish off what has been an amazing summer, we decided to tackle extremely complex and challenging projects powered by a giant crank. 

Project one: A crank powered windmill - since our indoor space doesn't really have a lot of wind, we're going to be relying on the crank to get our windmill spining

Windmill project design meeting.

Windmill project design meeting.

Project two: A crank powered escalator - while this may not be a human carrying escalator, the crank will connect to our escalator to push objects up a set of moving stairs so that tinkerers can retrieve them.

Escalator project design meeting.

Escalator project design meeting.

Project three: The crank! - This will be a portable human size hamster wheel that powers all of our other projects! 

Crank team starting constuction

Crank team starting constuction

An all around successful first day! These projects will be super hard, challenging and most certainly frustrating, but we're prototyping and designing and even starting to build these rad contraptions so things are looking good!

Tinkerers In Space - Mission 8 - Tinkerdate 03

Space (2016)Lindsay JonesComment

:::transmission start:::

It has now been three days since our mission was given to us, and all of us here at the Tinkering School Space Laboratory can say that significant progress has been made on our ship, the T.S. Gever Tulley.

The main frame is getting it's fire and meteor proof side panels attached, the beds are getting attached to their anti-gravity posts, the space toilet is being mounted to it's explosion proof plumbing system, and the control panel got it's electronics delivered from our high quality spacecraft electronics supplier.

Space bed team enjoying what they made!

Space bed team enjoying what they made!

Control panel team after unboxing their highly sensitive electronics!

Control panel team after unboxing their highly sensitive electronics!

Space toilet team trying it out! (jk it's just really comfortable to sit on)

Space toilet team trying it out! (jk it's just really comfortable to sit on)

Meanwhile our friends in the far far away galaxy continued constructing their mountain, as well as the dragon and their floating cloud houses.

Cloud houses being constructed.

Cloud houses being constructed.

Dragon remains.

Dragon remains.

Mountains spotted by Hubble telescope.

Mountains spotted by Hubble telescope.

 

 

Tinkerers in Space - Mission 8 - Tinkerdate 02

Space (2016)Lindsay JonesComment

:::transmission start:::

Mission update: 

Yesterday we made our team agreements and got started designing what we need to complete our galactic mission. And today we were in full construction mode to get our designs into action.

Here is our spacecraft, The T.S. Gever Tulley This beauty is going to carry us off of earth and deep into the galaxy so we can step foot onto a newly discovered planet, and take samples from the newly discovered alien dragon. Most of our highly trained astronaut-fabricators are working on the main frame of the craft, while some are working on some other crucial parts such as the space toilet, sample crane, and our state of the art control panel.

Space toilet design team at work

Space toilet design team at work

Aside from The TS One and it's facilities, far away in another galaxy, another team is building up their prized alien dragon as a gift to our astronauts so they can collect samples.

Team dragon strengthening the dragon's ribs

Team dragon strengthening the dragon's ribs

Also in this galaxy, a clean-up and construction crew is beautifying their planet and constructing new structures to make a good impression on the astronauts. Communication with the planet is limited, but from what we've heard, they're designing and building a mountain. Oh, the things Earth would do for technology like that!

The last thing that was heard over the planets communication with us was a dance party that broke out in the build site of the mountain. Our astronauts are feeling a lot less nervous now because apparently this planet in a galaxy far far away also listens to Justin Timberlake just like us!

:::end transmission:::

 

 

  

Space! - Session 8 - MONDAY

Juniors Space (2016)Amanda SimonsComment

The Tinkerers of Junior Day Camp are traveling to space this week!

But first, we had some important business to take care of. Because this is the first time that this group of humans has ever been in the same room and been asked to work on the same project, we had to get to know how to safely interact in the space and with each other. 

To do that, we made some group agreements and also spent the morning learning about some new tools!

Tinkerers in Space - Mission 8 - Tinkerdate 01

Space (2016)Lindsay JonesComment

:::press release:::

Mission Control
San Francisco, California

Mission 8 aboard the T.S. Gever Tulley to explore an uncharted planet has begun.

Not very early this morning, our mission team assembled and we agreed to treat each other, ourselves, and our environments respectfully.  All team members endured hours of training on specialized equipment to prepare them for the upcoming projects of stablizing the Spacecraft, exploring the Environment of the new planet we landed on, and building a Colony for us to live in.

Then, we closed our eyes and entered hypersleep.

When we awoke we had safely landed on the unexplored planet!! The three projects groups immediately began planning out and designing their strategies.

And got down to business!

Check in tomorrow for the next dispatch from Tinkerers in Space.

Stolen Unicorn - Session 7 - Day 3

Caroline MartinComment

With the return of our drills after evil Dr Pilfer took them yesterday (we managed to borrow some from our other camps), we're ready for another day of building. We still have some big obstacles, however.

It's going to take all our teamwork to get our various projects done, but everyone's already on top of that.

But, can you believe it, Dr Pilfer strikes again. We find, to our dismay, that she has taken our chopsaw blades, and replaced them with cardboard!

We must carry on. We regroup and figure out a plan.

Our visual communication skills are improving as well.

Park time gives us a moment to get refreshed, and for the collaborator team to replace our chop saws. 

When we come back, the Laser team has new intel. Satellite imagery has given them the locations of the laser towers, as well as some mysterious boxes. Our best guesses, after some discussion, is that they are power sources, key pad entries, and ways to disable the lasers.

And we're making great progress with our ladder to scale the fortress wall.

Structural engineering is a big part of camp here. One of our first lessons is about the strengths and weaknesses of some shapes. Here we have a square...

But the problem with squares is that they can transform quite easily into parallelograms, often when we don't want them to. 

(The solution is triangles.)

Part of our retrieval now includes a decoy unicorn head. It's starting to look very familiar.

P1070797.JPG

And so ends another day at Tinkering School. Tomorrow is our last full build day, can't wait to see what happens!

 

 

Stolen Unicorn - Session 7 - Day 2

Stolen Unicorn (2016)Caroline MartinComment

It's Tuesday! We're ready to get to work and use all the tools we learned about yesterday. The first thing to do is have a design meeting with our small groups.

We also spend some time learning more about the materials we're using. What's the best way to use a screw? How do we know which length to use? One of the best ways is to just put it next to the wood and take a look.

Attaching support legs to our post designs is more fun than we thought!

Our beloved chop saw in action. Today is all about the angle cuts.

The 8-foot posts will be used for the laser trap. One tinkerer has come up with an elegant design.

We're also getting really good with the speed square. It takes all the guesswork out of making nice boxes.

The Up The Tower team starts asking about pulley systems. Let's test them out!

Our research team has been trying their hardest to find out more about Dr. Pilfer's lab fortress and any weaknesses it may have. It turns out the teams have more challenges than they originally thought.

During lunch, Dr Pilfer strikes again. This time, she steals a whole bunch of our drills! We're left with only 10 to work with (and there's 30 of us!), so we agree to work together the best that we can to power through the afternoon build session.

Another build session, another design meeting. Math is happening, and no one seems to mind.

The band saw gets some good use today, and everyone has a job.

Meanwhile, more research on pulleys continues in the back...

By the end of the day, we realize we may not have many drills, but we have an excellent team set on taking down Dr Pilfer and her scheming ways. 

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