Tinkering School

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The Search for Sea Monsters - Day 4 - Week 4 (Mark Day School)

Mark Day/San Rafael, Mark Day Sea Monsters '19David St. MartinComment
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Even though the Tinkering School goals nowhere talk about finishing, it sure is a nice feeling to see a project through to its full potential. This morning it was hard to tell if we’d complete the projects or not. The structures were still in their beginning stages and so many people had differing ideas. We just couldn’t tell how it would go as we narrowed our priorities, while allowing each student to find their own interests on the project.

We had a bit of fun, though, as two of our collaborators introduced an improv game during morning circle. A box of props (pool noodles, ping pong balls, pvc pipe, etc.) was dropped onto the floor and tinkerers and collaborators were invited to pick up a prop and act out a part of the sea monster. There were many giggles and smiles as we shared our creative, silly sides.

Can you hear me now?

Can you hear me now?

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Today was a big day for trying new tools. The outside sheeting on the submarine had to be cut with a circular saw, the port hole windows were cut with a jigsaw and a lot of large holes for pivots needed the drill press. We even used the laser cutter for some parts of the periscope! We spent some time talking about the new tools, our experiences with them and their potential uses at the end of the day. Sometimes it is amazing to hear students relay what they’ve learned through experience. These kids are starting to really get not only why we tinker, but the tools we tinker with!

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Using an adjustable wrench to tighten the bolt that holds the sea monster tail in place.

Using an adjustable wrench to tighten the bolt that holds the sea monster tail in place.

A circular saw on a guide rail is a handy stand-in for a table saw.

A circular saw on a guide rail is a handy stand-in for a table saw.

We use a drill press to make accurate, straight holes with large drill bits.

We use a drill press to make accurate, straight holes with large drill bits.

By the afternoon it was clear our tinkerers had come together as a team, found common ground and collaborated in ways that were productive toward the yearned-for “finish.”

One of many intricate connections inside of the submarine.

One of many intricate connections inside of the submarine.

Making sure the submarine is level.

Making sure the submarine is level.

A laser-cut periscope box is completed with a small mirror.

A laser-cut periscope box is completed with a small mirror.

Our hitch is simple and sturdy and allows the sea monster’s body parts to turn but stay together.

Our hitch is simple and sturdy and allows the sea monster’s body parts to turn but stay together.

It has been awe-inspiring to see the submarine rise from the ground up and include benches and walls and a steering wheel.

It has been awe-inspiring to see the submarine rise from the ground up and include benches and walls and a steering wheel.

Taking the sea monster body and what I’ve taken to calling the “rainbow scale tail” for its first test drive.

Taking the sea monster body and what I’ve taken to calling the “rainbow scale tail” for its first test drive.

As one of our campers was leaving at pick-up time, he walked back over to the build area, looked up at the sea monster’s face and said “I like it. When I go away from it, I have to come back because I like it so much.”

You know, I’m feeling the same way.

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Click through the gallery below for more moments from today. For numerous additional moments, visit our Flickr page.

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