Tinkering School

come make amazing things with us

Restaurant Week (2017)

Crazy, er.. Funky Restaurant Week! - SF Day Camp, Day 5 - Appreciating Our Hard Work

Restaurant Week (2017)Molly MansfieldComment

Today was the last day of Crazy, er... Funky Restaurant Week at Tinkering School Day Camp in San Francisco! On Fridays we build for just the morning, take our normal mid-day break, and then put finishing touches on our projects before families come to see what we've been up to all week. This is when we finally step back, hang up our drills, and see what we were able to achieve through learning from our mistakes and collaborating. We describe the moment when we share our projects with families as our time to appreciate what we've learned and accomplished together. We truly did build things bigger than ourselves (another Tinkering School goal) this week! This appreciation time is short, only about fifteen minutes long after five days of designing and building, but that is intentional - it is a reminder that we do not care about having a finished product and it is the collaborative process that matters.

.... And then we take it all apart! In the span of a little more than an hour, everyone including families, pitches in to take apart our projects so we can recycle the materials for the next week of tinkering and clean the space for the next tinkerers to use. Even though we're sad to see our projects disassembled, it is rather fun to break everything down in a flurry of activity!

Here are some photos of our final day of Funky Restaurant Week (I was reminded that tinkerers prefer to call it "Funky" instead of "Crazy" today - my mistake!): (click, tap or scroll to view all)

We have many more photos to view on our Flickr album page for this week. Check it out!

Crazy Restaurant Week! - SF Day Camp, Day 4 - Tinkering is Fun

Restaurant Week (2017)Molly MansfieldComment

Today at Tinkering School Day Camp we hit our stride doing collaborative project work. All three project groups continued to build, measure, re-design, repair, and add-on and when it was time for our closing circle at the end of the day everyone was TIRED! It was our last full day of building and Thursday afternoon is when the reality of what can actually be built in the short timeframe of a week sinks in. So much good collaboration happened today and at the end of the day we took some time as a whole group to share appreciations of each other, recognizing the teamwork that has happened and thanking the people who have helped us so far. Tomorrow will be the big reveal when families get to come see what the tinkerers have built!

Here are some photos of the tinkerers in action today: (click, tap or scroll to see all)

Check out more photos on our Flickr album page (here)!

Crazy Restaurant Week! - SF Day Camp, Day 3 - Tinkering is Difficult - We Make Mistakes

Restaurant Week (2017)Molly MansfieldComment

Wednesday can be a tricky day at Tinkering Day Camp. This is when unexpected challenges tend to rear their ugly heads and the best laid plans don't go as anticipated. We are also TIRED on Wednesday after a whole lot of learning, building and collaborating at the beginning of the week. Mid-week is when teams of collaborating tinkerers face more conflicts - new challenges arise just as feelings of competency and project-ownership take hold. Project parts aren't yet reinforced enough to climb on, which is frustrating! All this often means that on Wednesday we make more mistakes than usual. For example, we need reminders not to say "my drill" and instead say "the drill I was using." Accidentally, we don't tighten a clamp well enough and wood pieces fall apart. And drills bits break at inconvenient times.

At Tinkering School we celebrate mistakes. Making mistakes and analyzing them is one of the best ways to learn! Making mistakes shows that we are pushing outside of our scopes of knowledge and exploring new things. Making mistakes means that we are trying.

Here are some photos of mistakes we have made so far this week: (click, tap, or swipe to scroll)

Don't forget to check out our Flickr album (here) for more photos!

Crazy Restaurant Week! - SF Day Camp, Day 2 - What is Tinkering? What is Collaboration?

Restaurant Week (2017)Molly MansfieldComment

Day 2 of Crazy Restaurant Week was our first full building day and tinkerers spent all day troubleshooting problems and starting to put parts of the projects together.

At our morning circle, we took some time to answer two questions together: What IS tinkering? and Why do we tinker? Here are some of the amazing answers that the tinkerers gave:

What is tinkering?

"Exploring something"             "Building something"               "Making something"

"Messing around with something"             "Doing something you don't know how to do yet"

"Having fun!"                 "Creating"                "Using your imagination"

"Using electrical tools that would scare parents to death but don't scare you to death!"

Why do we tinker?

"Have fun!"               "Build stuff"              "Learn something new"             "To use your imagination"

"Don't give up!"               "Make friends"              "Create things you can be proud of"


We also decided to "put on our collaboration-sensing goggles" today and look for times when we see each other accomplishing the first goal of Tinkering School: Collaborate and Make New Friends. At the end of the day we shared what we saw. Here are photos of collaboration in action: (this is a slideshow, swipe or click or scroll to see more)

One particular kind of collaboration we practice in Tinkering School is the "partner push" when extra force is needed to place a particularly tricky screw. Many partner pushes happened today! (this is a slideshow, swipe or click or scroll to see more)

Creating a finished project is NOT one of the goals of Tinkering School, however through collaboration the three Crazy Restaurant projects continue to grow! The taco truck measures longer than 17 feet from the front of the cab to the back. The ice cream truck is now so tall that tinkerers need stools and ladders to reach the top. The magic-school-bus-volcano-drive-thru continues to become more complex and interesting. Here are some photos!

(this is a slideshow, swipe or click or scroll to see more)

Check out more photos of our tinkerers in action on our Flickr Album for this week (click here)!

Crazy Restaurant Week! - SF Day Camp, Week/Session 4, Day 1

Restaurant Week (2017)Molly MansfieldComment

Another fabulous week of summer tinkering day camp at our San Francisco location has begun! This week we have a wacky theme we've never tried before: Restaurant Week!

Today our tinkerers made an agreement for how to work together, did tool training, and started planning for the projects this week. One group is building a Taco Truck, one group is building a Drive-Thru Restaurant of a magic-schoolbusy-volcanic nature, and one group is building a huge Ice Cream Truck! The ideas are just hatching and the first pieces of wood started to come together this afternoon - it will be exciting to see what develops tomorrow on the first full day of building. 

To see photos of the fun that happened today, be sure to visit our Flickr account album page at this link.

Stay tuned to learn how these amazing projects develop!

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