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Mark Day Harry Potter

Harry Potter - Day 5 - Week 5 - Mark Day School

Mark Day / San Rafael, Mark Day Harry PotterTatian GreenleafComment

The last day of camp arrived with a flutter of nervous excitement. Would we be able to finish our builds by the afternoon? Would the train be able to pull the passenger car? Would the hidden door be reinforced to allow it to properly raise and lower?

The answers came in spurts: yes. yes. yes. Even though there is always more that can be imagined, more that can be designed, and more that can be built, we know we have a deadline and we work as a team to do as much as we can in the time we have.

The tinkerers met to plan how the train would arrive, how many people could ride it at one time, how best to allow visitors to travel under the hidden door, and where to position the sink and basilisk.

During our closing circle, just before family members arrived, we said more gratitudes to each other and shared ways we had met our goals for the week. There were new friendships growing and thanks said for help given.

At the end of the day, we all pitched in (thanks, family members!) to take apart our creations and return all of the materials to their original bins so they could be used again another time.

And so it is bittersweet that the final week of Tinkering School Summer Camp at Mark Day School comes to an end. We hope to see each of your children again next summer for another exciting program!

For many more photos from the week, visit our Flickr page.

Click through the slideshow below for many more photos from today.

Harry Potter - Day 4 - Week 5 - Mark Day School

Mark Day / San Rafael, Mark Day Harry PotterDavid St. MartinComment

Today felt a bit like running full speed toward platform nine and three-quarters, believing with all our heart that the platform would appear just in time! We had so much to do, so many projects yet to be completed, it seemed impossible, but with a lot of teamwork, a few moments of frustration, a break for popsicles and a few compromises, we made major progress. 

During a break, we reminded everyone that our goals for the week never included finishing. They were to Collaborate and make friends, try harder that usual, build something bigger than ourselves, and make mistakes we learn from. That's it. Completing projects  is just a bonus. 

We hope to see you at 2:15 tomorrow for the unveil! After that the tinkerers will get to demonstrate their skills with the drills as we take everything apart.  Adults are invited to help keep things safe, carry materials back to their places and generally admire the effort of your young maker. It has been an incredible week!

You can find many more pictures HERE

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Harry Potter - Day 3 - Week 5 - Mark Day School

Mark Day Harry Potter, Mark Day/San RafaelTatian GreenleafComment

"A scarlet steam engine was waiting next to a platform packed with people. A sign overhead said Hogwarts Express, 11 o'clock. Harry looked behind him and saw a wrought-iron archway where the ticket box had been, with the words Platform Nine and Three-Quarters on it. He had done it."

-- Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

"Of the many fearsome beasts and monsters that roam our land, there is none more curious... than the Basilisk, known also as the King of Serpents. This snake, which may reach gigantic size, and live many hundreds of years, is born from a chicken's egg, hatched beneath a toad."

-- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

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I read longer versions of these passages to our tinkerers during our after-lunch circle to further inspire them (and to take advantage of the air conditioning), although I don't think they need much more inspiration based on the creative sketches they've made on whiteboards and the mathematics- and physics-based contemplation happening in conversations.

This morning, students rotated through three mechanical engineering workshops to learn about pulleys, levers, and structural reinforcement (hint: ask them which shape is the strongest). We're continuing to think about which part of our builds might move and how we might accomplish that.

It was a full day of building and at the end of the day, though we were hot and somewhat tired, we shared stories of ways that other tinkerers had helped us (carrying wood, partner pushing on a drill, etc.).

Visit our Flickr page for even more photos from today and the rest of the week.

Feeling the difference between lifting 12 pounds using a single pulley, two pulleys, and four pulleys.

Feeling the difference between lifting 12 pounds using a single pulley, two pulleys, and four pulleys.

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Elevators, flag poles, window blinds, cranes, wells, and more...

Elevators, flag poles, window blinds, cranes, wells, and more...

Testing how being closer or further from the fulcrum affects lifting strength.

Testing how being closer or further from the fulcrum affects lifting strength.

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Avi brought his own copy!

Avi brought his own copy!

Learning to add a gusset to wobbly table legs in order to strengthen them.

Learning to add a gusset to wobbly table legs in order to strengthen them.

The engine cab is taking shape.

The engine cab is taking shape.

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Jig sawed circles of plywood and chop sawed 2x4s are connected to form the front of the engine. 

Jig sawed circles of plywood and chop sawed 2x4s are connected to form the front of the engine. 

As collaborators, one of our roles is to model behavior that includes the design process, building techniques, safe use of tools and materials, and communication based on our social and emotional learning curriculum. We are facilitators more than anything and we enjoy seeing students take the lead on projects and involve their peers in the process:

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Click through the slideshow below for more photos from today:

Harry Potter - Day 2 - Week 5 - Mark Day School

Mark Day/San Rafael, Mark Day Harry PotterDavid St. MartinComment

We could feel the excitement in the air today even before camp started. Everyone just wanted to get building! Before we could build bigger than ourselves though, we needed to talk about carrying wood safely in a bustling construction zone. Once that discussion was had, tinkerers either went full steam ahead on The Hogwarts Express, or dove headlong into the Chamber of Secrets. 

Each day brings an opportunity to use the tools we learned about during Monday's tool training and to use new tools as well. Today's tools included a jig saw - great for cutting straight and curved lines in plywood - and a Sawzall - useful for cutting wood that is already connected to a frame and can't easily be moved onto sawhorses.

The heat made it easy to meet one of our goals, which is to try harder than usual... we used a break after lunch to cool off and reflect on what tinkering is and why we do it. It was an informative time, and many of the thoughts captured during that time highlighted the reason we do this work. 

Check out even more photos from today and the whole week on our Flickr page.

The base of the train is taking shape.

The base of the train is taking shape.

Using the Sawzall to trim part of the train base.

Using the Sawzall to trim part of the train base.

The basilisk body has several segments. Small groups are working together to build each one.

The basilisk body has several segments. Small groups are working together to build each one.

It takes several steps to be ready to use the jigsaw: measure and draw lines, clamp wood to sawhorse, put on ear protection and goggles, "is everybody ready?" safety call, and then it's time to cut.

It takes several steps to be ready to use the jigsaw: measure and draw lines, clamp wood to sawhorse, put on ear protection and goggles, "is everybody ready?" safety call, and then it's time to cut.

Assembly square + clamp + a partner to hold the wood = successful drilling.

Assembly square + clamp + a partner to hold the wood = successful drilling.

Individual student response to "What is tinkering?" and "Why do we tinker?"

Individual student response to "What is tinkering?" and "Why do we tinker?"

Our group summary

Our group summary

Sometimes a "partner push" is just what's needed to add enough pressure to the drill.

Sometimes a "partner push" is just what's needed to add enough pressure to the drill.

Individual student response to "What is tinkering?" and "Why do we tinker?"

Individual student response to "What is tinkering?" and "Why do we tinker?"

Our group summary

Our group summary

Click through the slideshow below for more photos.

Harry Potter - Day 1 - Week 5 - Mark Day School

Mark Day Harry Potter, Mark Day / San RafaelTatian GreenleafComment

Gryffindor. Hufflepuff. Ravenclaw. Slytherin. Magic has arrived at Tinkering School and the tinkerers are no longer muggles, having learned the art of tools.

We started the day discussing our goals for the week and then met to talk about group agreements in order to set a framework for ways that we interact with each other and with the tools (e.g. "treat others the way they want to be treated."). 

Every tinkerer went through tool training to learn about and practice using clamps, cordless drills, and a chop saw. 

In the afternoon, we split into our build groups to work on designing the two projects for the week: The Hogwarts Express train and the Chamber of Secrets. If you're wondering whether Moaning Myrtle will make an appearance, join us for the big reveal at the end of the week!

Check out more photos from today on our Flickr page.

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