Tinkering School

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Moon Landing Mini Golf - Day 1 - Week 5 (Mark Day School)

Mark Day/San Rafael, Mark Day Moon Golf (2019)Tatian GreenleafComment

The first day at Tinkering School is a busy one as our tinkerers get used to the rhythms of the day. During our opening circle, we brainstorm group agreements that will help us respect each other, work together well and use tools properly. We also introduce our goals for the week: collaborate and make friends, try harder than usual, build something bigger than ourselves, and make mistakes and learn from them.

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The morning gets in full swing with tool training. We learn about and practice using our three main tools: clamps, chop saw, and cordless drills.

Many hands make light work.

Many hands make light work.

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Using assembly squares to ensure wood stays at a right angle.

Using assembly squares to ensure wood stays at a right angle.

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After a fun break at the park for lunch, it’s time for the excitement of the project reveal. Our tinkerers decided a drumroll was in order! To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, the theme for this week is:

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It sounds far-fetched until you learn that Alan Shepherd hit a golf ball on the moon with a club. So even though the moon’s gravity might make for a rather challenging mini golf course, we’re using our imagination and coming up with creative designs for how to represent the moon’s terrain. But it wouldn’t be a mission to the moon without a Lunar Lander. So another group is building a space craft that will land on the moon and launch a golf ball onto our golf course. This gave us a chance to talk about mechanical levers. We started with sketches and moved on to prototyping launch devices. And because we decided the lunar lander will be octagonal, we had to learn how to calculate, measure and cut 22.5° angles on the chop saw. All in a day’s work!

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A prototype of a ball launcher…

A prototype of a ball launcher…

…and a test of a lever system with a ball tube.

…and a test of a lever system with a ball tube.

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Click through the gallery below for more photos from today. And visit our Flickr page to see many more photos from throughout the week.

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