Tinkering School

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Talking About TSSean Murray


It was the last of 8 weeks of Tinkering School Summer Day Camp. As an experiment,  we decided to do a service project. We partnered with Urban Sprouts (an organization that focuses on creating healthy schools and communities through garden based education) to help them create a giant shed and planters.  

We had put most of our attention in the shed as it was one of the largest projects we have made in Tinkering School. The planters were a nice mid-week project to give the kids an opportunity to work on something else. We made the planters out of broken plates and cement and casted them in a giant sandbox box. 


Danger and destruction, done well. Using safety gear, the kids got to smash a bunch of plates with hammers til there were a bunch of tiny pieces.

Cool end product. They got to create a mosaic planter.

Kid stoke. There was really great engagement and group cooperation. 

Different materials from the other projects. We got to try some different materials: plates, cement and a sandbox. 

Change of pace. The project was a much needed break in the week from the shed (the power of the mid-week project). 

Service. The planters were for Urban Sprout, not us. The kids really bought in to the idea of community service, helping a client. 


The tough part of clients. Is that it means higher standards of durability for the end products. One of the planters unfortunately broke (it’s hard to distribute the cement evenly!) 

Messy, messy messy. The sandboxes created a nice big mess and was a ton of clean up. Long hours of clean up can be demoralizing for staff and kids.


We learned the power of introducing the mid-week project, it gives a nice refresher and an energy boost for both staff and kids. Chaos, well organized chaos, can be fun. Destruction and reassembly are really satisfying, especially since kids get the opportunity to live out the fantasy of breaking plates that they wouldn’t be able to beak at home. Opa! 

--by Nikki Lau

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