Tinkering School

come make amazing things with us

Meatballs (2018)

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs - Final Day - SF Day Camp

Meatballs (2018), San Francisco Day CampBrendon BellComment

The storm we've all been waiting for has finally arrived! Soon everyone's hunger will be satiated as watermelons, doughnuts and pizza rain down on our workshop. With no time to lose, our crews jumped into putting the final touches on their projects.

P1120786.JPG

Our catapult team experienced an exciting structural failure when trying to move the catapult into the adjacent room. With the weight of the catapult and several builders on the moving platform, the side rail was no match for the force on the wheel's axle. Our tinkerers proudly met the Tinkering School goal of "making mistakes and learning from them" :)

The catapult required so much force to pull the lever that a pad was needed for the puller to fall back on. 

The catapult required so much force to pull the lever that a pad was needed for the puller to fall back on. 

P1120775.JPG
P1120773.JPG

Meanwhile our mouth team worked hard on the track of the digestive tract tunnel. 

P1110318.JPG
P1020939.JPG

After giving the giant mouth giant teeth, all that was needed were giant lips! This group easily met the Tinkering School goal of "build something bigger than ourselves." 

P1110319.JPG

And it was finally time to decorate our huge food cloud. It was a full team effort to dress it up in white cloth. There was also enough time to also complete the trap door mechanism. 

43345354042_8c5b948be8_k.jpg
P1020933.JPG

And then...dun dun dun...!!!!! 

Parents and grandparents arrived to witness an epic food storm. After a brief safety discussion, it was time to see the giant cloud full of food raise off the floor and into the sky. The humidity levels went up (mostly due to Tinkering staff hoisting the heavy cloud on pulleys) and up went our giant cloud amidst lots of cheering! 

P1120801.JPG
P1180922.JPG

As we soon discovered, the volume of food was so great that as soon as the cloud raised off the ground, the trap door gave way and spilled the food onto the ground. Our cloud appeared to want to be more of a cornucopia than a cumulonimbus. 

42489129305_1ffd459960_k.jpg
After emptying itself, our cloud hung around for a bit. At over 8ft tall and 8ft wide, it was an impressive sight to behold.

After emptying itself, our cloud hung around for a bit. At over 8ft tall and 8ft wide, it was an impressive sight to behold.

Next up, it was time to feed our giant mouth by launching our recently harvested food via catapult!

42489171835_7cb21ab5f0_k.jpg

5...4...3... Everyone yelled the countdown!

29522848738_de20bdeec6_k.jpg

The giant mouth open and closed in anticipation of a delicious meal!

...2...1... GO! 

P1120832.JPG

Aiden pulled hard on the cord, then he pulled harder, and then he pulled as hard as could and still the catapult lever didn't budge... Then we had one of our oldest tinkerers pull the cord and still no luck! We discovered though that with a little nudge of the lever while someone else pulled the the cord, the catapult would let loose and do its job. FOOD AWAY! 

P1020971.JPG

Our first watermelon didn't quite make it into the mouth, but after moving the catapult closer, the giant mouth was finally satisfied - along with our dedicated and excited group of tinkerers! 

What a week! And it was all made possible by all of our tinkerers collaborating and working together, and trying harder than usual. These are two more of our Tinkering School goals and it was a pleasure to watch this crew take them on whole heartedly. I have no doubt these kids will be creating and building many more awesome and imaginative creations in the near future. Happy munching!

To check out all the action from the week, be sure to visit our Flickr page!

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs - Day 4 - SF Day Camp

Meatballs (2018), San Francisco Day CampBrendon BellComment

So much delicious learning and progress was cooked up today by our tinkering crew!

Our digestive tunnel team learned how to drill large holes and screw in eye bolts as part of a system to move food along the digestive tract. Keep on moving, keep on moving. More food! Yum!

P1020861.JPG
P1180887.JPG
The mouth was given a tongue ramp that the food will slide down into the digestive tunnel.

The mouth was given a tongue ramp that the food will slide down into the digestive tunnel.

P1020877.JPG

Hard at work making a complicated mechanism that moves the jaws of the mouth simultaneously!

P1040143.JPG
Raawwrr! FOOOD!! Nom nom nom...

Raawwrr! FOOOD!! Nom nom nom...

To collect extra food scraps that miss the mouth, it was decided a portable giant plate and utensils would be necessary.

P1040145.JPG

Never enough food!!!! This has been the most hunger inducing tinkering week in memory.

P1020882.JPG
P1110514.JPG

The catapult team also made lots of progress on their jumbo sized food launching machine. Lots of collaboration makes building more fun and productive!

The bandsaw has been used frequently this week - lots of side panels and floors to cut.

The bandsaw has been used frequently this week - lots of side panels and floors to cut.

P1020889.JPG

There was even time to make a crane that will pick up and transport food to the catapult that has fallen from the cloud.

P1180881.JPG
P1020875.JPG
P1020884.JPG

And the cloud team is about to attach the trap doors that will release a deluge of delicious delicacies!

P1180884.JPG
P1110539.JPG
Introducing the "ear muff man!" Tinkering is clearly all business and no play ;-)

Introducing the "ear muff man!" Tinkering is clearly all business and no play ;-)

Make sure to check back and see this hard working crew's creations come to life! A storm of food is fast approaching. And don't forget, theres even more photos on our Flickr account from the day and rest of the week. We're looking forward to a giant feast tomorrow!

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs - Day 3 - SF Day Camp

Meatballs (2018), San Francisco Day CampBrendon BellComment

Wow! Our young foodies made huge progress today on their projects and most importantly had a blast along the way. 

The catapult team successfully tested their food launching prototypes...

P1160269.jpg
P1120744.jpg
Very official flags marking the exact launch distances.

Very official flags marking the exact launch distances.

Pears and waffles away! 

Pears and waffles away! 

Ready...aim..let the mini glazed doughnut fly!

Ready...aim..let the mini glazed doughnut fly!

The cloud team finished the second face of the giant cloud that will soon be suspended in the air. Just needs a little more evaporation...

P1120719.jpg
Hard at work cutting the cloud's curves with the jig saw.

Hard at work cutting the cloud's curves with the jig saw.

And food! Lots of food...yum!

An egg? Nope! Hope you like sliced watermelon :-P

An egg? Nope! Hope you like sliced watermelon :-P

P1180874.jpg
P1180850.jpg

Originally a licorice stick, this tasty treat morphed into the doughnut on the right.

P1180872.jpg
P1110293.jpg

Our mouth and digestive team discovered that with just two pulleys and two operators the jaw was difficult to maneuver in a coordinated manner.

They tinkered and tinkered and experimented and eventually came up with an awesome design to make the jaws of our huge mouth move simultaneously!

P1180868.jpg
P1020807.jpg
P1020829.jpg

Everyone could hear the gleeful shouts of "IT WORKS!" It's one of our favorite tinkering phrases along with "What if...!?"

A giant mouth has to have giant teeth of course.

P1020827.jpg
P1180866.jpg
The digestion tunnel is winding along nicely.

The digestion tunnel is winding along nicely.

With only two more days of building left, the anticipation is building for an exciting feast of flying food! Stay tuned and check out our Flickr page for more photos of the excitement from today and the rest of the week!

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs - Day 2 - SF Day Camp

Meatballs (2018), San Francisco Day CampBrendon BellComment

The winds of yum are picking up! Flying food is on the horizon! How many super cheesy puns can I try to come up with... yes that was also pun intended :-P

Our food minded tinkerers made tons of progress today on their projects. With tool training behind us, they had the whole day to build and they made the most of it!

Our catapult team completed several mini prototypes to discover what the most effective food launching system might look like.  

P1020792.JPG
P1040067.JPG

In the next days build sessions, the catapult team will settle on one or two designs and then jumbo size them to be able to launch our huge food great distances.

We have some hungry and world cup inspired soccer fans in this crew! Or should I say football?

We have some hungry and world cup inspired soccer fans in this crew! Or should I say football?

P1040077.JPG

Our food team? Well they got started baking right away. I'm not kidding when I say that their food creations were making me hungry...

P1110275.JPG
Such a clever way to string up a cluster of grapes!

Such a clever way to string up a cluster of grapes!

P1110272.JPG

The cloud crew got to check off several tasks as they finished the first side of their giant cloud.

P1110267.JPG
P1110276.JPG
P1110287.JPG
P1110472.JPG

To cut out the cloud shapes, we learned how to use a new tool, the jig saw! With its small blade, no curve or drawing is too complicated to cut.

P1120697.JPG

And our mouth team built some braces for the jaw. Always want to make sure everything is in alignment!

P1120698.JPG
P1120703.JPG
Hard at work on the throat/intestines tunnel that will be connected to the mouth.

Hard at work on the throat/intestines tunnel that will be connected to the mouth.

Realigning the jaw pieces. This mouth is going to have a giant set of teeth!

Realigning the jaw pieces. This mouth is going to have a giant set of teeth!

We witnessed so much exciting tinkering and collaboration today! Can't wait to see what new foods and building challenges are on tomorrow's menu. Check out our Flickr page for more photos from the day and the rest of the week!

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs - Day 1 - SF Day Camp

Meatballs (2018), San Francisco Day CampBrendon BellComment

The forecast for this week is storms of hamburgers, spaghetti downpours, strong winds blowing in doughnuts from the east, and more! Our passionate crew of tinkerers this week is taking on the challenge of FOOD WEATHER inspired from the classic children's book, "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs." 

Before we began building though, we came up with some agreements about how we wanted to treat one another and stay safe in the workshop. Together we created a document outlining some important ideas and then signed our names committing to upholding our agreements.

P1110238.JPG
P1110239.JPG

Next up, it was time to learn how to use some tools! Drills, chopsaw, and clamps to be precise. These are the core group of tools that the kids will rely on most to build their elaborate creations.   

P1040002.JPG
P1110252.JPG
Drilling provides so many great opportunities for collaboration. Another hand is always helpful to hold down a piece of wood while a friend is drilling.

Drilling provides so many great opportunities for collaboration. Another hand is always helpful to hold down a piece of wood while a friend is drilling.

Awesome two-handed drilling form!

Awesome two-handed drilling form!

After lunch we divided into three groups to design our epic tinkering projects. One group is working on a giant cloud that will release a deluge of food. Another group designed a giant catapult spoon to launch whatever delicious delicacies fall from the sky. And our third group designed a giant mouth and digestive tract that all manner of food can be launched into. It's going to be an exciting week!!

P1040045.JPG
P1160249.JPG
P1040060.JPG
P1040024.JPG
P1040054.JPG

After all this hard work, our tinkerers still had time to get started cutting and measuring the first pieces of their projects. Our week of food weather tinkering is off to a yummy start!

To check out more photos from today be sure to visit our Flickr page!

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