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Virus! Week - Day 1 - Week 4 - SF Day Camp

Molly MansfieldComment

Week 4 of Tinkering School Day Camp SF has begun! This is an extra special week because it is the one week of the summer where all of our campers are children who identify as girls. We call it "All Girls Week". Even all of our collaborators are female this week - our male staff are helping out at Overnight Camp.

This morning we started by making our group agreements for how to treat each other and work together safely. In addition to the regular agreements that we tend to see week to week (for example, "Always walk" and, "Treat others the way THEY want to be treated") the tinkerers also came up with some other thoughtful agreements including, "Don't yuck someone else's yum" and "Be kind about other people's ideas." 

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Then we did tool training rotations where the tinkerers learned to use the drills, chop saw (miter saw) and clamps...

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After a mid-day break of playing in the park and having lunch, the tinkerers returned to the building for the big reveal of the secret theme for this week .... VIRUS!

At first they were confused. "Wait... virus?..."

We took a few minutes to talk about what human bodies are made of, what a cell is, how our bodies get sick and what makes them sick, and how our immune systems work to keep us healthy.

The tinkerers learned that this week we will be making a huge moving model of viruses attempting to get inside a human body cell, with a human immune cell working to protect the other cell. One group will make a human body cell that can move, another will make a cell infected with a virus that is releasing ("launching") new viruses at the human body cell, and the third group is making an immune cell that will grab the viruses to prevent them from getting into the human cell! (*Yes, it is a complicated and challenging week!)

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We then watched this NPR Krulwich Wonders movie clip "Flu Attack! How a Virus Invades Your Body" in small groups to better understand how cells, viruses and immune cells interact...

(Click, tap or swipe to see the slideshow below)

Tinkerers spent the rest of the afternoon taking on the challenge of designing the virus cell, the human cell and the immune cell...

(Click, tap or swipe to see the slideshow below)

To wrap up our long and fun-filled, hot (for San Francisco) day, we flopped on the nice cool, concrete floor and took a moment to spell out ...

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Come back to our blog this week to learn how Virus! Week goes with our tinkering girls, and be sure to check our Flickr Photo Site for many more photos from this week!

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