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Mark Day Fairground

Wacky Fairgrounds - Day 5 - Week 2 - Mark Day School

Mark Day Fairground, Day Camp, Mark Day/San RafaelTatian GreenleafComment

The moment we've been waiting for has arrived! It's Wacky Fairgrounds project reveal day! The students were excited to show off their hard work but before family members arrived, there was just enough time to put on the finishing touches: wheels on the go kart, feet on the AFFs (animals/furniture/food... we actually didn't end up making any food), and faces on the bowling pins. We were striving to express personality among the AFFs but it was a fun surprise to see the pins take on characteristics as well. 

Both of the builds also needed to be tested before everyone took a ride. We started with a smaller kid on the go kart and progressed to larger kids and even adults. For the carousel, we spun it without riders, then added one student and then another and another until we were up to capacity at 8 student riders.  Even with nine students, there was no creaking or cracking of wood and no sagging or unbalancing of the carefully-designed platform. Success!

Today's work embodied our goals for the week: collaborating and making friends, trying harder than usual, building something bigger than ourselves, and making mistakes and learning from them. At closing circle, our tinkerers shared ways that they had experienced these goals.

Check out many more photos from today and the rest of the week on Flickr.

Clamping a wing in preparation for screwing it down.

Clamping a wing in preparation for screwing it down.

Two people clamping makes for efficient work.

Two people clamping makes for efficient work.

The ramp has good bones.

The ramp has good bones.

Securing a 3.5 foot tall, 8 foot long ramp.

Securing a 3.5 foot tall, 8 foot long ramp.

Two screws in each connection.

Two screws in each connection.

The strongest building shape is a triangle... how many can you count? And the ladder is finally attached!

The strongest building shape is a triangle... how many can you count? And the ladder is finally attached!

The pig gets a handlebar and a face.

The pig gets a handlebar and a face.

Adding a gusset to stabilize the chair. No more wobble!

Adding a gusset to stabilize the chair. No more wobble!

After making angled cuts on the bottom of the 4x4 post to resemble a sharpened pencil, the team lifts it into place on the carousel platform.

After making angled cuts on the bottom of the 4x4 post to resemble a sharpened pencil, the team lifts it into place on the carousel platform.

So much math and tool use (drills, jigsaw, chop saw and more) went into the puzzle piece platform.

So much math and tool use (drills, jigsaw, chop saw and more) went into the puzzle piece platform.

Wacky Fairgrounds - Day 4 - Week 2 - Mark Day School

Mark Day Fairground, Mark Day/San Rafael, Day CampDavid St. MartinComment

What is tinkering? Why do we tinker? We started the day with those questions, and we got some insightful answers: "To express creativity," "to discover new ways of thinking," "to make our ideas real." 

Today was our last big day to build and the group came together, on their own, in an impressive way. Perseverance emerged as a theme as the sun got hot in the afternoon, and large unsolved problems loomed with only hours left to build. By the end of the day, we had a working carousel platform, a sturdy go-cart, and a ramp almost ready to be sheeted. Tomorrow will be hard, but not impossible as we prepare for unveil our creations!

 

 

Wacky Fairgrounds - Day 3 - Week 2 - Mark Day School

Mark Day / San Rafael, Day Camp, Mark Day FairgroundTinkering School StaffComment

Happy 4th of July! Today was a day of engineering workshops to get us thinking about building moving parts and leveraging our strength. Everyone learned about levers, pulleys, and how to reinforce wooden joints using triangles and gussets. Then, after lunch, we put our new knowledge into practice.

 
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Beth explains how a cross-brace will create two triangles and strengthen an otherwise weak rectangle.

Beth explains how a cross-brace will create two triangles and strengthen an otherwise weak rectangle.

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We wrestled with questions of how best to build a hot dog, one of several AFFs (Animal/Furniture/Food), to be installed on the carousel platform. Rectangular 2x3 wood doesn't lend itself to circular shapes but we discovered that an octagon is a close approximation.

Hot dog in the making... we label our cut pieces with inch measurements.

Hot dog in the making... we label our cut pieces with inch measurements.

One of our AFFs, the wacky giraffe, is taking on even more of a personality now that it has a moveable head and pull strings.

One of our AFFs, the wacky giraffe, is taking on even more of a personality now that it has a moveable head and pull strings.

The carousel platform folks have been trying harder than usual and discussing a complex design that rivals a tangram puzzle. 

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The bowl dozer / bowler coaster folks have been hard at work teaming up to build a ladder and a railing for the top of the launch platform.

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Today was also a day of collaborating and making friends. At closing circle, several tinkerers shared how they had made a new friend today.

Click through the slideshow below for more photos.

Wacky Fairgrounds - Day 2 - Week 2 - Mark Day School

Mark Day Fairground, Mark Day/San RafaelDavid St. MartinComment

Wow. what a day of building! Interesting  groups of tinkerers are beginning to form around different components like the animals and benches for the carousel, or the platform for the Bowler Coaster.  One small dedicated group is working on the geometry and building  of the carousel platform-no small feat, since they are having to make cuts accurate to 1/16th of an inch! 

In closing circle today many students shared their highlights and learning moments from the day. Several people said they'd created new friends. Tomorrow we continue the build! 

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

The platform for the Bowler Coaster needs to be strong & Stable

The platform for the Bowler Coaster needs to be strong & Stable

A small group has been working with Charles to make the critical base of the carousel.  

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Wacky Fairgrounds - Day 1 - Week 2 - Mark Day School

Mark Day Fairground, Mark Day / San RafaelDavid St. MartinComment

The first day of Tinkering School is always a special day. We get to know each other, come up with group agreements, learn how to use real tools and, finally, get to hear the theme for the week! We spend the last hours of the afternoon ideating and working out a design for our big build. Today all 22 tinkerers took to the tasks with gusto and we had a camp humming with productivity. 

After our morning developing group agreements we dove into safety in the spaces and tool training. Every tinkerer had a chance to practice on the chop saw, drill and clamps. With these three basic skills under our belt we'll be ready to tackle the project ahead! 

The project ahead is a big one too! Our theme is Wacky Fairgrounds, in celebration of the Marin County Fair. We're going to build two large-scale elements on that theme: a Carousel and one solely inspired by the prompt "Wild Ride." 

Both of these present some fairly big design and engineering challenges, but after spending the afternoon discussing design ideas and settling on some workable plans, I think we're ready to hit the ground running on Tuesday as we start making our ideas into physical objects we can touch and experience. Bring on tomorrow!

Check out all the photos from today on Flickr.

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