Tinkering School

come make amazing things with us

Building Big and Building Small

Sean Murray

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In our third day of camp we hit some funneling points. The large projects struggled to have opportunities for each child to be involved. In response many kids found themselves on our cork floor. A place of play and a reprieve from drills and screws, construction based problem solving and hard edges. It is soft at the corners and flat with plenty of space to roll around. With fabric hanging from the ceiling, a rock wall, and a huge red matt, it is also a place for huge movements like jumping (an impossibly dangerous act in the workshop).

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This is, in brief summary, why this cork floor exists. At any given moment we except a few kids to be over there choosing to take a break from, or even avoid a project they are struggling with. To be getting some wiggles out, or otherwise hanging out with friends. But at some point, the fullness and activity of the cork floor is also our engagement barometer. Today, as the floor filled up and projects across the board hit major complexities, our collaborators responded cleverly and quickly. Anyone not directly guiding a major build started helping kids focus on small personal builds. From an instant "Figurine House" making workshop, to lending a hand stabilizing that one personal project (often a table) a kid has let slip to the side, our staff got kids who didn't think they could make much of anything to be finalizing or starting their own ambitious little projects.

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