Thursday was a day full of inspiring developments and iteration points, as each project truly took form.
Everyone has been so excited to build that we’ve broken a record number of drill bits this week! Consequently, we are low on drill bits and took a moment this morning to brainstorm better drilling technique, analyzing mistakes made in the past in order to learn from them. Many tinkerers picked up a technique called “toenailing” to drill a screw in diagonally – there is a precision to the method, though, and if rushed and done incorrectly it often leads to breaking drill bits. We collectively agreed to slow down within the excitement our last full build day. Furthermore, we analyzed the drill as a new form of fulcrum, similar to the see-saw and door hinge we looked at in the past two days.
This morning, the volcano team was finally able to lift the inner tunnel structure into the volcano frame to take measurements for diagonal beams that will ultimately inform the shape of the volcano. By the end of the day, we started sheeting the exterior of the volcano with plastic.
Even more invigorating were the moments of envisioning, creating, and testing the slingshot mechanism we developed for our balloon lava launcher. After days of playing and tinkering with different concepts and methods, it was very satisfying to settle on one. Furthermore, we led a successful test of the mechanism we built.
Though the morning began with most of the volcano group disheartened at the week’s progress (many tinkerers felt we would not complete the project in time), we made many steps forward. More importantly, we banded together as a group and remained committed to the work ahead of us, collaborating and experimenting while having a lot of fun.
The catchment team was able to finesse the vehicle we have been working on this week, adding wheels to the structure and moving into testing phases with our steering system. Inventing a steering system on a wheeled vehicle is a difficult task, though seemingly routine as many of us engage with these in our daily commutes.
With the vehicle on wheels and moving, it became necessary to design a seat on the cart. The obvious choice for a comfy driver’s seat was foam! Additionally, although the catchment team did design numerous ways of catching the balloon lava, the need arose for a holding/processing chamber for said balloons. Work on this began this afternoon.
Our incredible forts and bridges team has been making very impressive structures. We rearranged things so the 8x8 floor-based fort connects via drawbridge to a standing 4x4 treehouse-esque fort, off which a 16ft. standing bridge juts out. These will surround the erupting volcano tomorrow during the showcase.
This team has done an excellent job of ensuring their structures are safe to be climbed on, and they have been aware of weight limits on the structures and clearly communicating this to those engaging with it.
While today was marked by the building of numerous ladders suddenly necessary as everything with the forts and bridges comes together off the floor, one sub-group had a spur-of-the-moment idea to construct an elevator from the ground to the top of the bridge. By the end of today, we had the frame built and minds whizzing with ideas for pulley mechanisms to enable this.
It has been incredible inspiring to witness the creativity, dedication, flexibility, and inquisitiveness demonstrated by this week’s group of tinkerers. Everyone is stoked for tomorrow’s showcase, regardless of whether or not we finish our projects in the way we initially planned.
View the rest of today’s photos on our Flickr!