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!
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.
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?!
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.
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!
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!