Tinkering School

come make amazing things with us

(Monster Failure) Monsters! All Girls - Session 5 - Day 5

Amanda SimonsComment

Learn From Our Mistakes and Failures: 1 of 4 TS Goals
Today we did it. We really, really, did it. 

This week, we had two main projects with our team of all girls.

In the first project, two mini teams were each building one half of a monster that would be later combined. The trick to this was that the lead Collaborators, Piper and Molly, were not allowed to see what the other team was building. Each team built independently, and then had to come together and communicate about how to join the two halves together.

What's so hard about that?

Well, here's what happened...

The transport.

The transport.

The assembly.

The assembly.

The dilemma.

The dilemma.

The result.

The result.

What the teams wanted was a monster snowman of sorts, with all the components (over 16 feet of combined height!) stacked on top of one another. What they got, was an artful arrangement of all the pieces. Weight, time, and lack of wood touching attachment opportunities lead everyone to this solution.

Failure abound in the last minutes of the week! It was awesome!

The second project: a monster truck!

Not like the big wheel smashy smash kinda truck though. We're talking a double-decker cart on tiny wheels with a monster mouth and creepy attachments! The Tinkering Team that tackled this project really pushed through right to the final minutes as well.

In the end, we were able to load a massive amount of Tinkerers into the truck and wheel them around in front of the audience of families and friends!

What we didn't realize was that the safety testing really should have been completed with maximum load for real results. In the middle of the ride, failure. Two of the casters twisted out and broke the entire back end, giving everyone a pretty good jolt!

FAIL!

FAIL!

Before the casters were attached, we neglected to brace the corners with plywood triangles (a step that is normally second nature to the Collaborators). In the excitement of the week, the wheels were attached to the frame without bracing, and we went on our way. The result was the weight of 10 kids and all that wood pressing down on 4 or 5 screws.

Oops!

Oops!

Everything was fine.

Everything was fine.

With both of these projects failing in different ways, we had a super productive week and ample opportunity to dissect what we could have done better. This, my friends, is the core of this program: stepping back and allowing failures to happen, providing the scaffolding to discuss when they do, and then learning from those failures.

Oh, we also built some rad stuff.

Go girls!

Tinkering School is a trademark registered in the US Patent and Trademark Office.