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SF Summer Day Camp, Week 1, Day 1!

INSECT (2017)Piper AlldredgeComment

Welcome to Tinkering School Summer 2017! We could not have asked for a better first day of summer camp--after all of our training and prep in the weeks leading up to camp, we all get the jitters before day one. Today felt like we'd all already been together for weeks!

We started by talking about our four goals for the week--collaborate and make friends, try harder than usual, make mistakes and learn from them, and build something bigger than ourselves.

We started by talking about our four goals for the week--collaborate and make friends, try harder than usual, make mistakes and learn from them, and build something bigger than ourselves.

Our week always starts with group agreements and tool training. At camp, we emphasize that this week we'll be working on four goals: to collaborate and make friends, try harder than usual, make mistakes and learn from them, and build something bigger than ourselves. Then we asked, what agreements should we make for how we'll treat each other, our space, tools and materials in order to make sure everyone can succeed at those goals? Kids always make great suggestions, hitting on some TS classics like 'Treat others how they want to be treated,' and adding some new twists like, 'Stay focused and allow others to focus.'

After taking a quick break to eat snack, we transitioned to tool training, practicing using the 3 main tools we'll use this week: the drills, clamps and chopsaw. Tool training really gets everyone excited for the week, and is a great chance to get to work with each child in a smaller group setting. 

Piper helps Owen use a quick-release drill.

Piper helps Owen use a quick-release drill.

Ceili helps Mo use the clamps.

Ceili helps Mo use the clamps.

Evan stands by while Daphne makes a cut. 

Evan stands by while Daphne makes a cut. 

Then, we take a break to go to the park and eat some lunch, because who wouldn't want to spend some time in the sun on a beautiful day like today?!

A quick game of one fish, two fish after finishing up lunch.

A quick game of one fish, two fish after finishing up lunch.

Finally, after lunch, we get to find out our project for the week. Here we go! First, imagine yourself standing in a field. Then, imagine yourself start to slowly shrink. Slowly, but steadily, you become shorter and smaller. You notice that you're about the height of a chair, then your cat, then so small you could look a lego mini-figure in the eye. And then you shrink a little more. When you finally stop shrinking, it's not like standing in a field anymore, but a forest. Blades of grass are tall like trees, pebbles are like boulders. And insects are like dinosaurs. So, this week, we'll be building one giant insect. One team will work on the head, another team will work on the thorax, and the final team will work on the abdomen. Hopefully, on Friday we'll have something that we can connect together into one silly Frankinsect! Project leaders let kids know where to go, and off we went to design and maybe get start building. 

Many folks started out by looking at some non-fiction books about bugs, to get an idea of what a 'thorax' is anyway. 

Many folks started out by looking at some non-fiction books about bugs, to get an idea of what a 'thorax' is anyway. 

These details filtered into many of the kids' drawings, with designers adding details like stinger, pinchers, antennae and wings. 

These details filtered into many of the kids' drawings, with designers adding details like stinger, pinchers, antennae and wings. 

And each group had lots of individual ideas that they needed to carefully and considerately smoosh into one collaborative plan. 

And each group had lots of individual ideas that they needed to carefully and considerately smoosh into one collaborative plan. 

After making detailed and intricate plans and drawings, a few groups were ready to start getting pieces of wood, arranging them into bug-like shapes, and maybe even putting them together with drills and screws! 

The thorax team was small, but mighty! They got into building quickly, and have several pieces of their frame already assembled. 

The thorax team was small, but mighty! They got into building quickly, and have several pieces of their frame already assembled. 

Over on the head team, Bennett and Owen laid out their pieces of wood on the floor so they could get an idea of the scale and shape of their part of the insect. 

Over on the head team, Bennett and Owen laid out their pieces of wood on the floor so they could get an idea of the scale and shape of their part of the insect. 

The folks cutting pieces in the chopsaw room got into a great flow as well! 

The folks cutting pieces in the chopsaw room got into a great flow as well! 

And I heard kiddos ask, "How can I help?" many, many times! 

And I heard kiddos ask, "How can I help?" many, many times! 

Our day ended with kids asking of they could get straight to work in the morning, which I think is the best we could hope for! See y'all tomorrow! 

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