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Tinkering School Week 3: Art Machines

Christine SunComment

It's Monday, which means new friends and new projects at Tinkering School! After morning introductions and a discussion on creating a safe and productive space for building, the fun began with tool training, inducting new Tinkerers into a world of technique and safety and providing a refresher for our returning champs. Drills, chopsaw, clamps, and art studio are a great start to our building adventure. 

During tool training, Tyler demonstrates how clamps are a great substitution for additional hands in the absence of ten conveniently unoccupied humans.

During tool training, Tyler demonstrates how clamps are a great substitution for additional hands in the absence of ten conveniently unoccupied humans.

After a trek to park and lunch, the theme of the week is revealed: Art Machines. We'll be working together to prototype, build, and tune contraptions that make art, whether it be visual, auditory, or something else. Three projects were released today:

Spirograph

A spirograph is a machine that aides in drawing various symmetric geometric patterns, depending on how you vary the moving pieces. The Spirograph group is going to make this drawing machine ... but huge. And with wood.

With a design challenge comes a brainstorm session. Sophia shares her ideas with the Spirograph group.

With a design challenge comes a brainstorm session. Sophia shares her ideas with the Spirograph group.

The Pen Doesn't Move

An interesting challenge emerges: build a drawing machine, but the pen doesn't move. The pen ... doesn't move. What does it mean? With this open-ended proposition Tinkerers launch into their design session. If the pen doesn't move ... what does? 

Tinkerers sketch out their art machine visions.

Tinkerers sketch out their art machine visions.

Cause and Sound Effect

The third project appeals to a sense of a different kind. The Cause and Sound Effect group is making a musical Rube Goldberg machine that will set off a chain reaction of auditory scenery. The first brainstorm involved exploring the shop for as many different kinds of sounds as possible. Tinkerers got creative with tapping different lengths of wood, and pushing washes along threaded metal rods. 

With all these brainstorms underway, we're excited to see what kinds of construction happens tomorrow, our first full-day build session!

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