Tinkering School

come make amazing things with us

Day Three - Getting Things Done

2012 Session 4 - MiddlersgeverComment

Tuesday Night, Day 3, August 14th Gever is up early today, awakened by fragments of design solutions to the problems they encountered yesterday. He gets a mumbled "Is it time to get up?" from one of the boys in the boys dorm, but they are fast asleep again before he can answer. He sets out the breakfast buffet of cereal, yogurt, bagels, toaster, and all the fixin's, before the house is awake. He desperately needs someone to talk to about the ways the wheel mountings for the luge capability on the car can be done - but the place is stubbornly peaceful. Time for a walk. Outside, the morning sun lights up a beautiful sky.

IMG 2770DSC 9943 Your Daily Goat: Baby albino goat alternates between licking the salt block and licking Gever's hand.

DSC 9950 Eventually, everyone is up, fed, and in the barn. The first order of business is to recover every single 2x4 from the projects from previous sessions. Carter is unstoppable.

DSC 9956 Christie rescues wheels and 2x4's. As they deconstruct the work of the older kids sessions, they become familiar with some standard Tinkering School solutions to common problems.

DSC 9963 Later, in design conversations, Gever hears them describing some of the things they saw during deconstruction as reference points in their mental iterations.

IMG 2779 The diagrams get more detailed and more sophisticated as they become comfortable with, and develop an intuitive sense of, the materials they have to work with.

IMG 2780 Portrait of Two Tinkerers: Liora and Frannie have decided to tape their mouths closed and spend the morning using gestures instead of speech.

IMG 2782 Portrait of Two Tinkerers: Liora and Frannie follow through.

IMG 2786 Rowen invents wheely shoes that instantly make you taller and more sophisticated.

IMG 2788 Portrait of a Tinkerer: Liora puts on a little lipstick (tapestick?).

DSC 9974 Meanwhile, Kevin and Elizabeth get to work collecting parts for the luge wheels.

DSC 9979 Frannie adds a goatee and mustache to her tape - an homage to V?

IMG 2790 Kevin tries to ignore the fact that the tape-over-your-mouth cult has managed to recruit Elizabeth.

IMG 2793 Josh, Carter, and the track team set up a section of test track.

DSC 9990 On a test run, one of the guide wheels comes loose. A quick pow-wow among Elizabeth, Frannie, and Liora yields a workable solution (we're all a little relieved to see that the tape-over-your-mouth cult has faded out of existence).

DSC 9997 At fifteen minutes to noon, a strange "booming" voice announces LOCKDOWN! as the barn door swings shut, trapping everyone inside. Evidently, the warden of this place will not let anyone out of the barn until everything is picked up off the floor and tables and put in their proper places. This first-time lockdown proves to be amazingly effective, and in no time at all the place is shipshape. Over lunch, Gever and Lili launch into an abstract pedagogy discussion about the value of narrative as a motivating element in getting groups of kids to work together on something they might otherwise think of as a chore.

IMG 2801 The track team has determined that they are going to absolutely run out of wood in the next few hours. Gever, Carter, and Rowen are dispatched to Home Depot Pro to get more - and of course Carter loves the opportunity to ride on the runningboard of the truck as it winds down the road to the entrance of the farm.

DSC 0003 Meanwhile, Kevin and Lili keep at the luge wheels and figure out some of the tricky details about getting the right washers and nuts into the assembly before the parts are screwed together.

IMG 2804 At the lumber store, Carter and Rowen sort through the pile of 2x4's to find twenty six good ones.

IMG 2813 Which they then load into the truck. Gever thinks he could get used to having a couple of teenaged helpers.

DSC 0011 Frannie and Liora learn the pleasures of using the drill press - quiet, precise, and powerful.

DSC 0019 Kevin experiences an unexpected "this one's too big" moment as a series of ever-larger holes drilled in a piece of wood somehow skips the "perfect!" sized hole and the ensuing sudden realization that we are missing the right sized drill bit.

DSC 0021 The new test track is ready. Built with an eighteen inch drop at the start, Ben discovers that with a near-frictionless set of wheels, eighteen inches can be quite thrilling.

DSC 0032 Trent wants a little more speed, so he pushes off of the nearby post.

DSC 0037 Carter, wearing his special rolugester gloves, also goes for the post pull.

DSC 0043 Since she doesn't have the special gloves, Frannie gets a friendly push from Trent.

DSC 0066 Christie takes a ride as well.

DSC 0090 If we can read anything in the expression on Liora's face, it may well be that she had the most fun of anyone on her ride.

DSC 0164 Rowen, after watching a few test runs, returned to the process of making track sections.

IMG 2829 At the end of the day, the tinkerers are thrilled to learn that Josh has to run down to the conference center to get more supplies for dinner - any excuse to ride on the running boards.

Tonight was taco night, and we collectively ate our way through a mountain of seasoned ground turkey, fresh chopped vegetables, and cheeses. Despite the fact that we had a couple of horseplay-leads-to-accidents talks today, it was a great day. An informal survey over dinner reveals a consensus on this observation - just another day at Tinkering School.

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