Tinkering School

come make amazing things with us

Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

Is Tinkering School a non-profit?

Yes! Tinkering School is a project of the Institute for Applied Tinkering, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Our Tax ID is 26-4299346.  All donations are tax-deductible. Our mission is to bring the highest quality hands-on experiential learning to kids everywhere. You can help us reach more kids and create deeper and richer experiences by donating.

Do you offer Financial Assistance?

Yes! We are committed to making our programs available to everyone. We offer financial assistance on a pay-what-you-can basis. All families will be asked their financial assistance preference during the registration process.

What is your cancellation policy?

Cancellations 30 or more days from the start of the registration item receive a refund, less the deposit (which covers the cost of the transaction). Summer programs work slightly differently, see below.

Cancellations less than 30 days from the start of the registration item receive a refund only if we are able to fill the spot. That is, cancellations less than 30 days from the start of the registration item cannot be refunded if we are unable to fill the spot.

Summer Exception: Summer is different. For any summer registrations, cancellations 30 or more days from the first day of summer programming receive a refund, less the deposit. If you cancel any summer programs less than 30 days from the first day of summer programming you will receive a refund only if we are able to fill the spot. (2016: summer programing starts June 20th.)

Important note: If you cancel a class on your own, the system will default to giving you credit toward future classes. If you'd like a refund (instead of credit), please reach out to info@tinkeringschool.com directly.

All registrations are non-transferrable.

Are there discounts?

When discounts are available they will be automatically applied at the time of check out when you use our registration system.

Where is Tinkering School?

Check out our locations page for the most up to date information on where we are.

What dates am I signed up for again?

Sign in to our registration system to check what dates you are registered for and wait-listed for. You can also search your email for "tinkering school" and "registration". Still not sure? email info@tinkeringschool.com

A class I want to sign up for is full, what should I do?

Join the Wait-list! We love wait-lists and use them to help make sure we achieve gender and age balances conducive to an amazing experience for every child and peer-group. If something is full, please join the wait-list if you want to go. We use them often. They also let us monitor demand, know when to hire more staff, and know what to offer more of!

What's the minimum age?

The minimum age for One Day Workshops and Summer Day Camp is 6. The minimum age for Summer Overnight Camp is 8. The minimum age for Intro to Welding is 8. Some offerings have additional age constrictions, check the individual offering on our registration page for details.

My kid is turning just old enough (or too old) to attend during the next session, can I enroll them anyway?

The best age to go by is their age as of the first day of the session. Exceptions are possible on a case by case basis. Please email info@tinkeringschool.com if you have more questions.

How do I know what workshops my kid is the right age for?

Most of our pages now list the age range of the program. The registration system we use has a great filter-by-age option that is always accurate and up to date.

Is there a Tinkering School near me?

Maybe! We have programs here in the San Francisco Bay Area and also in Los AngelesChicagoAustinBuffalo and Bratislava. (Yes, Bratislava!)

And, of course Tinkering School is not the only place that builds with kids. Check out the MakerSpace Directory for an ever-growing list of places to build.

I’d like to start a Tinkering School (or something like it) in my community. Can you help me?

Yes, we can. Our mission is “to create excellent hands-on learning opportunities for children everywhere.” This means sharing best practices and lessons learned from thousands of hours spent building with kids.

For more specific advice, check out;

How do I pay?

The best way to pay is to sign into the registration system and pay via credit card or e-check. We are trying to limit how much business we do with paper (paper checks or cash) but if this is the only way you can pay, shoot an email to info@tinkeringschool.com.

What should my kid bring?

For every Class, Workshop, or Camp:
- 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).

Additional items for any All Day Offerings (One Day Workshops, Day Camp, Break Camps):
- A nutritious and delicious lunch.
- A snack for snack time.
- Sunscreen already applied for the day (send extra if your child has sensitive skin). We go outside most workshops and most days.

Overnight camp is a totally different monster. Check out the details page for more information.

Is there class this week? When does class start? When does it end?

You can find the answer to these and most other scheduling issues by logging into your account and checking the session page.

What do I do if I am going to be late for drop off or pick-up?

If you know you are going to be late for the start of class, or late to pickup there two ways to get a hold of us. If you know in advance, just email info@tinkeringschool.com. If you get caught in traffic or it is last second, you can call our office line, (415) 701–7777.

What about Food?

A day at Tinkering School builds a pretty good appetite. For day programs, (Summer Day Camp, One Day Workshops, Intro to Welding) be sure to send your kid with a hearty lunch, some snacks, and a water bottle. For Overnight Camp, just bring a water bottle. We've got the rest covered. Have more questions about overnight camp? check out our program details page.

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