Tinkering School

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Cartopia - Day 1 - Week 6 (SF Day Camp)

Cartopia (2019), San Francisco Day CampRuby Harrison-ClayComment
Learning to use the chop saw!

Learning to use the chop saw!

Drill practice (make a letter of the alphabet, out of wood!)

Drill practice (make a letter of the alphabet, out of wood!)

At Tinkering School it is impossible to dread Mondays… it’s always a day chock full of learning new skills and making new friends, anticipating the fun tinkering work to come as we envision and manifest our very own creations!

Learning to collaborate and build a bridge out of wood & clamps

Learning to collaborate and build a bridge out of wood & clamps

Excitement built all morning as we learned how to safely use the tools and materials we will be working with this week. Although we all wanted to dive into the project reveal and get started building immediately, it was important to move through the morning slowly and carefully. We spent time deciding on our group agreements for the week, as well as learning and practicing the safe methods for engaging with all of our tools.

After a full morning, we headed to the nearby Crissy Field Beach for some play and lunch time. A group of us headed to the shore to build sandcastles, dig holes, and create sand walls against the incessant waves. It was a quintessential San Francisco afternoon, our view of the Golden Gate Bridge clouded with thick fog, but the sun’s warmth came through the haze and made for a refreshing afternoon.

Initial design brainstorm session

Initial design brainstorm session

Working on a triangle-shaped car

Working on a triangle-shaped car

Our return from the beach marked the highlight of Monday, as our theme and projects for this week were revealed to be… Cartopia: a luxurious land where cars and their drivers are pampered and re-fueled with positive vibes before driving down and thrilling course! You may be wondering, what does this mean in the context of Tinkering School projects?

We have one group of tinkerers working on building three small cars - each will be a different shape and size, with unique steering mechanisms. These will be the vehicles drive through the rest of the Cartopia course.

The definition of teamwork: three tinkerers using a level to make sure the leg is straight!

The definition of teamwork: three tinkerers using a level to make sure the leg is straight!

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Another group will spend the week building a combo car-wash, fuel station, and auto-body shop. Their project needs to be able to move each car through the different stations, somewhat like a conveyor belt or assembly line. Not only will the car be buffed and cleaned, the drivers will also get positive affirmations as they roll through - possibly from a high-five machine and more! They have begun by building a very large frame, which will provide structure for the rest of what’s to come.

The last aspect of Cartopia is a car elevator which leads to an 8ft. tall ramp – each car will move through the car-wash and into the elevator, which will then lift the car through a complex series of pulleys and ropes to the top of a ramp. This is the last stop. Each car will steer itself down the ramp, across the workshop, and out of the side door onto the sidewalk outside!

It’s going to be a fun week, discovering what creative ideas our tinkerers bring to these prompts and witnessing the collaboration necessary for each distinct project to work together and ultimately connect into one continuous loop.

Combining our individual ideas into a collaborative design

Combining our individual ideas into a collaborative design

To check out the rest of today’s photos, be sure to go to our Flickr album!

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