Tinkering School

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Week 5, Day 1 - Obstacle Course

Sean Murray

After our standard multi-hour morning of safety-and-technique training on Drilling, Driving, Chop Saw and Hand saw. We were off to lunch with story time and park.

In the afternoon we announce the weeks theme and major projects. Also, over the last few weeks, and especially this week we are playing with varying degrees of narrative to help imaginations engage. This week's theme is Obstacle Course. The Primary Challenge (a high honor and very tickling): Can we make an obstacle course that takes Josh more than 3 minutes? Secondary Challenge: Can we beat Josh's time? The major Projects so far are a balance beam, tightrope walk, hurdles, and set/challenge design.

The whole day was punctuated by excited kids telling me "You're never going to make it over our balance beam" and "I hope you're not scared of lava" and other such declarations full of bravado and pride in their future work.

9352770238<em>84eae54025</em>h.jpg The set design team is working on a pool of lava and some boulders.

9349990955<em>ed4923cf51</em>h.jpg Commotion is abound as balance beam team takes its major first steps

The balance beam project was picked as a simple 2 pay project that would quickly demonstrate solid building technique, allow for time to iterate, and let the kids clearly see the progress they are making.

9349992235<em>6d09fc3e19</em>h.jpg Campbell is confident the hurdles will be sturdy, and way to hard for me

9352773014<em>58f0e5e4f2</em>h.jpg The tightrope takes shape

9349994363<em>5d9263461d</em>c.jpg Lots of projects need cuts right away and a line forms at the shop saw

9352775236<em>a7797d3082</em>c.jpg The drill press is one of our most intimidating tools. It's always used with two hands, one on the lever arm to lower the bit, and one on the off switch. In the photo above it's being used in conjunction with a paddle bit to drill a hole one inch in diameter.

A day of hustle and bustle ends with a circle, a quick moment were we ask kids to notice other kids being awesome, and a goodbye.

kids sit together at the end of day circle

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