Tinkering School

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Air Benders - Day 7 - Week 7 (SF Day Camp)

Air Benders (2019), San Francisco Day CampRuby Harrison-ClayComment

We are nearing the end of our tinkering experience with air-bending (manipulating elements of wind to harness power) – Tuesday was our last full day of building! All of our hard work in the past week and a half is shining through in the progress that we’ve made on our projects, our increased abilities to collaborate and co-create, and the dedication and innovation that everyone is offering to their teams.

After yesterday’s test run outside, the “Cheap Jeep” team spent a majority of today redesigning and reiteration their sail. They took apart the structure that was already made and began a completely new version of the sail. Based on what the team observed yesterday, they are making the new sail much bigger than the original design.


Meanwhile, the “Tesla” team split up into two subgroups; one team began building a small charging station and ticket-booth, big enough for one or two tinkerers to fit inside, while the rest of us attached the last wheel and brought this bigger wind ship outside for testing. Bringing our creations into real life allows us to experiment with the functionality of the designs which have been primarily theoretical until now.


Those of us working on the windmill were also able to test our creation outside this afternoon. While a group continued to sheath the outside of the windmill tower, some of us brought the windmill propellers outside to test how they would realistically catch the wind. The spinning mechanism worked well, and the opportunity for testing opened up new iteration points to perfect the design.


Within the glider & launcher group, some tinkerers have decided to modify the original glider idea and instead to design a parachute to be attached to a ball that is launched. We experimented with four different parachute designs today, playing with variables such as paracord length and parachute size. Different combinations worked differently as we dropped the ball and parachute off of our office balcony. At the end of the day we even attempted launching the ball and parachute with our launcher, and that opened up another can of worms!


Everyone is incredibly excited for the showcase tomorrow, to spend time outdoors with our wind-powered creations! Hopefully it is windy enough :p

To view the rest of today’s photos, check out our Flickr page.

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