This week Tinkering School and Brightworks were honored to do a special week of camp at the Boys & Girls Club of the Peninsula in Redwood City, CA.
This week of camp was different in many ways. We were working outdoors in the blistering heat, and every single one of the two dozen campers were having their first Tinkering School experience. Also, we had ice pops.
The challenges, though, were much the same. Kids had to teach their fingers new physical skills, teach their brains new abstract concepts, listen to and compromise with one another, and iterate their way through problems with no cookie-cutter solutions.
Keeping kids safe, motivated, more or less focused, and doggedly trying not to tell them what, exactly, to do, was an awesome staff: BGCP's Elementary School leader Nancy, BGCP Elementary teacher Christie, Brightworks School Directors Ellen, Justine and Anth; and Tinkering Veterans Serena, Nik and Miles.
Each day ended with a big group meeting in which the kids gave one another shout-outs for exemplifying the core goals of Tinkering School*. Kimberly, a rising 4th grader, summed it up best: "I'd like to appreciate everyone, because at the beginning of the week we didn't know how to do these things, but we did a good job working together, and we built a bridge that is strong and we can walk across it."
*the goals we posted on our meeting room wall were:
- to become better collaborators
- to learn from failure
- to try harder than usual
- to build something bigger than yourself