Tinkering School

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Moon Landing Mini Golf - Day 4 - Week 5 (Mark Day School)

Mark Day Moon Golf (2019), Mark Day/San RafaelTatian GreenleafComment

As we near the end of our week together, our creations have gone from being mere wooden structures connected with screws to being embodiments of the vision we started with at the beginning of the week.

As the moonscape mini golf course took shape today, we began to hear talk of the famed “Noodles of Doom.” There was much pondering about what those might be. Stay tuned because they are almost complete!

As for the lunar lander, not only is it upright and oh so tall but it is populated with busy tinkerers drilling pilot holes and driving screws (long for 2x3s, short for plywood) to finish the frame and start to add panels to the sides.

One of our beloved retired Mark Day School teachers, Mr. Orwig, stopped by for a moment and as soon as he saw the lunar lander he asked, “When does it land on the moon?” We’re clearly on the right track since our design is that perceptible!

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This trap door was a design challenge that our tinkerers readily took on. It doubles as a ladder for entry.

This trap door was a design challenge that our tinkerers readily took on. It doubles as a ladder for entry.

Who knew a miniature golf course took so much wood and so much work to complete? When we build things ourselves, we no longer take for granted all the effort — intellectual and physical — that went into making them.

Who knew a miniature golf course took so much wood and so much work to complete? When we build things ourselves, we no longer take for granted all the effort — intellectual and physical — that went into making them.

In addition to our large builds (namely the lunar lander and the moonscape mini golf course), we’ve had quite a bit of interest in several smaller projects: a golf ball launcher, a seat for the lander, and a hill for the fairway.

Testing the launcher

Testing the launcher

Building the chair (so many triangles!)

Building the chair (so many triangles!)

Reinforcing the hill

Reinforcing the hill

Might these be the "Noodles of Doom"???

Might these be the "Noodles of Doom"???

Adding another triangle to secure the frame to the mini golf platform.

Adding another triangle to secure the frame to the mini golf platform.

Closing circle bookends each day for us (opening circle is a time when we teach new skills, demonstrate engineering principles, or offer reminders about group agreements). This afternoon, I asked our tinkerers to provide examples of ways that they had worked with another person or made a friend today. There were so many hands that we almost ran out of time but we were able to hear from everyone. How wonderful that so many connections are being made and new friendships are growing. I also asked for examples of things we are proud of ourselves for. We heard from students who had tried a new tool (jig saw was a popular one), or figured out a design for a new lander chair or repositioned a screw after realizing that driving it through a knot in the wood was too tough.

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A "partner push" can help when a drill is used in a tight space or when a tinkerer needs just a bit more strength to drive a screw.

A "partner push" can help when a drill is used in a tight space or when a tinkerer needs just a bit more strength to drive a screw.

Taking the idea of a partner push to its logical extreme, this group of tinkerers was all in on helping out.

Taking the idea of a partner push to its logical extreme, this group of tinkerers was all in on helping out.

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The drill press is used to make a hole for a plunger for the ball launcher.

The drill press is used to make a hole for a plunger for the ball launcher.

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Click through the gallery below for more photos from today. And stop by our Flickr Page to see additional photos from throughout the week.

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