Tinkering School

come make amazing things with us

Mark Day Pirates (2018)

A Pirate's Life - Day 5 - Week 3 - Mark Day School

Mark Day Pirates (2018), Mark Day/San RafaelTatian GreenleafComment

Shiver me timbers! It's time to walk the plank. Or rather, the balance beam, as our pirate tinkerers prefer. And onward through the booby trap, with its disguised safe route, leading to a hideaway complete with trap door and tunnel. But that's not all! Away in a courtyard lumbers a towering ship with mast and pirate flag. And lest you get too complacent, our cannons will fire and we'll have you ducking below the deck of the vessel. Or climbing the ladders to take in the view of our crow's nest.

So it is with mixed emotions that our camp week comes to an end. When we asked at closing circle in what ways students had achieved the Tinkering School goals, several tinkerers commented on the many friends they had made and the experiences they had had working in teams to build large structures.

But there were also little things that surprised and delighted me and showed that our tinkerers were full of creative verve: the illustrations along the ship's hull, the colorful gems on top of the treasure chest, the hand-written signs taking on pirates' personas, and the figurehead leading the ship.

We started the week by hearing a poem written by yours truly to inspire us on our pirate journey. Here are a couple of stanzas:

‘Cause we’re pirates, we arrr!
We sail near and far
Following the trusty north star
We’ll steal all of your gold
A pirate’s life doesn’t get old
But sometimes the ship’s a bit cold

So we’ll throw on our jackets
Take a look through our ‘scope
And see just whose treasure we gets!

Many a pirate knows that ships and hideaways come and go. And thus we found ourselves dismantling our creations (thank you, family members and loved ones for helping!) and returning the materials to their original states. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle may be a modern concept but it's one even pirates find useful. Many a screw and 2x3 were transformed from fantasy back into metal and wood for the next journey that awaits.

And even though our ship and hideaway are now a fond memory, the experience will live on within us...

A pirate's life for us!

Spy more pirate mischief on arrr Flickr page.

IMG_6151.JPG
DSCF9020.JPG
IMG_6332.JPG
IMG_6249.JPG
IMG_6137 2.JPG
DSCF9037.JPG
DSCF9019.JPG
DSCF9047.JPG
DSCF9017.JPG
DSCF9043.JPG

A Pirate's Life - Day 4 - Week 3 - Mark Day School

Mark Day Pirates (2018), Mark Day/San RafaelDavid St. MartinComment

Our ship is about to set sail, our Hideaway is almost complete! Today we performed the delicate operation of flipping the giant hull of the ship and installing the massive mast. We made major progress on the tunnel system as well, so there's a chance we'll actually be finished in time! 

We spent some time in morning circle talking about our goals for the week, and reflecting on the fact that our goals do not include finishing anything. They include trying harder than usual, collaborating, making mistakes we learn from and building bigger than ourselves. We dearly want to finish though! We'll use the other goals to propel us toward finishing, and no matter how far we get, we'll have a good story to tell, and a set of more important goals to think about. 

More photos on Flickr

flipping boat.JPG
flipping boat 2.JPG
IMG_20180712_145338499 (1).jpg

A Pirate's Life - Day 3 - Week 3 - Mark Day School

Mark Day Pirates (2018), Mark Day/San RafaelDavid St. MartinComment

The pirate's life isn't easy, but it's always interesting, and today was a big, interesting day for us. We made progress on our tunnel system and treasure chest, we tested our canon, and our ship hull is almost complete! As a group we definitely tried harder than usual today. 

This morning we took a little time to be well-informed pirate builders by experimenting with levers, pulleys and reinforcement techniques as well. This translated into an afternoon full of ideas and reinforcements. Tomorrow the lever concepts will be put to good use as we turn the giant ship over so we can install the upper deck!

Tomorrow is our last full day of building. It's often the hardest day, but also the most exciting as we see our vision coming together. To prepare, we spent a little time at the end of the day talking about how we could take care of ourselves, and take care of each other. Tomorrow will be full of hard work, hard problems to solve and compromise. Something every one of these pirates can handle!

Here's a link to more photos from the week on our Flickr Feed.

Cam.JPG
isabella.JPG
Experiments with pulleys

Experiments with pulleys

Trying reinforcements

Trying reinforcements

A Pirate's Life - Day 2 - Week 3 - Mark Day School

Mark Day Pirates (2018), Mark Day/San RafaelDavid St. MartinComment

Tuesday is a big building day at Tinkering School. We have our idea, we're inspired to build and full of energy, so we build! 

We took a little time to discuss tinkering. What is tinkering? Why do we tinker? The tinkerers responded with some beautifully thoughtful answers! 

Throughout the day, there were plenty of examples of students helping each other, whether by holding a piece of wood, clamping something together, or doing a "partner push" (see yesterday's blog post). During closing circle, everyone had an opportunity to share a moment in which someone else helped them. Almost every hand went up to tell a story. Now that's teamwork!

Check out photos from today and the rest of the week on our Flickr page.

 

Thinking about the question "what is tinkering?"

Thinking about the question "what is tinkering?"

A project orientation meeting as we begin our day..we're building a ship!

A project orientation meeting as we begin our day..we're building a ship!

Why do we tinker? We got a lot of insightful answers, and this amazingly creative AND insightful one!

Why do we tinker? We got a lot of insightful answers, and this amazingly creative AND insightful one!

drilling.JPG
DSCF8879.JPG
IMG_5889.JPG

A Pirate's Life - Day 1 - Week 3 - Mark Day School

Mark Day Pirates (2018), Mark Day/San RafaelTatian GreenleafComment

We're imagining ourselves (or arrrselves) as pirates this week! We sailed into the day by sharing 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. We also brainstormed a list of Group Agreements (you may have heard of the Golden Rule but were you also aware of the Platinum Rule? It says to "treat others the way they want to be treated.").

Then we got down to the business of learning to use tools properly during our Tool Training. Each student had an opportunity to practice using a chop saw, drill, and clamp. With these tools and our materials (primarily 2x3s and plywood but also hinges, pulleys, and wheels), I can't wait to see what we build by Friday!

It's great to see friendships already forming on the first day. Sometimes a "partner push" is needed to drive a screw; one person operates the drill while the other person helps to push down on the top of the drill. And one of our agreements is to ask "How can I help?" which immediately allows someone to tell us a specific action we can take such as "Could you hold this wood" or "Would you mind clamping these together?" We can build even bigger and grander when we work together.

A good part of this afternoon was spent designing the two builds for the week: a pirate ship and a pirate island hideaway. Students take the lead by sketching ideas, sharing their visions with the group, and then planning their "cut lists" for materials.

Check out more photos from today on our Flickr page.

IMG_5802.JPG
IMG_5808.jpg
IMG_5804.JPG
Building a bridge using clamps.

Building a bridge using clamps.

Testing the strength of the bridge.

Testing the strength of the bridge.

Chop saw training after our "is everybody ready?" safety check.

Chop saw training after our "is everybody ready?" safety check.

Some students also learned to use the jig saw for cutting through plywood.

Some students also learned to use the jig saw for cutting through plywood.

Drill training leads to student independence when connecting pieces of 2x3.

Drill training leads to student independence when connecting pieces of 2x3.

A partner hold (hand or foot) can be a help.

A partner hold (hand or foot) can be a help.

A student's design for a turtle-shaped pirate hideaway.

A student's design for a turtle-shaped pirate hideaway.

So many details (and labels) for a pirate ship... on wheels.

So many details (and labels) for a pirate ship... on wheels.

Tinkering School is a trademark registered in the US Patent and Trademark Office.