Tinkering School

come make amazing things with us

Day Camp

One stage in a massive Rube Goldberg Machine make by kids ages 6-12

An immersive, five-day building experience in the heart of San Francisco's Mission District. Come build with the most creative summer camp staff in the Bay.

We create an environment that fully engages your camper's mind and body, huge-scale projects to capture their imagination, and an environment of trust and warmth that we hope will stay in their heart. 

We have made a Rube Goldberg chain reaction machine and a fully functional obstacle course , complete with a balloon pit ...  sprawling city of cardboard, and a Godzilla monster that destroyed it ... a NASA-style space mission complete with launch tower, rocket and mission control ... Campers have lifted themselves into the rafters, driven carts that really steer. We've built mazes for our parents, and giant robots that deliver flowers. Forts from clay and bridges standing 12 feet high and 15 feet long. (To get a sense of projects, check out our photo album.)


Summer 2017 Camp Lottery
Registration Results Announced by
1 February 2017



San Francisco: Brightworks School at 1960 Bryant Street

San Rafael: Mark Day School at 39 Trellis Drive


7 to 14 years for a regular week and  10-16 years for our Seniors week.

Format of Camp

Each week of summer runs from Monday through Friday. Each week is different, each project is unique. Monday morning is tool safety training, the project isn't revealed until after lunch!  Every day week leave the building and walk to Franklin Square Park to play games, move our bodies, and take a break from hard thinking. We eat lunch in the fresh air and then return to our projects ready for an afternoon of focus and tinkering.

On Friday, the kids finish up building  a little early, so that their families can come and experience the project in whatever state of completion the kids have attained.  We all appreciate each other's hard work and what we've created together, then as a group we disassemble the physical evidence of our week of teamwork, problem solving, power tool operation, and fun!

Staff Ratios

We staff all of our camps and programs at 6:1 camper:collaborator ratios or better. One of the best ratios in the bay.

Camp Dates and Hours

San Francisco - 26 June - 18 August (Seniors Week 24 July; All Girls Week 31 July )
San Rafael - 3 July - 11 August
Yes! camp is in session on the 4th of July

  • Summer Day Camps run from 9:30am until 3:15pm.
  • Drop off starts at 9:00am 
  • Pick up time runs from 3:15-3:30pm.

Extended Hours

  • Before care starts at 8:30am
  • After care goes from 3:30pm until 5:00pm

What to Bring

  • A nutritious and delicious lunch.
  • A snack for snack time.
  • A refillable water bottle.
  • Closed-toe shoes (we work with heavy and messy things).
  • Comfortable clothes that can get dirty. (Seriously, whatever they wear may get dirty or even torn).
  • Sunscreen already applied for the day (send extra if your child has sensitive skin). We go outside every day.


  • Camp costs $575/week
  • Before care costs $55/week
  • After care costs $85/week


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