Tinkering School

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Day Two - Two Challenges

2013 Session 2 - MiddlesJoshua RothhaasComment

P1016008 The day began with a challenge; build a chair. Building a chair is one of the fastest ways to learn a whole lot about the strengths, powers and limits of 1x4.

The kids took off with it. They started by drawing their designs on scrap wood (the paper would be purchased later that day, we are still recovering from Sunday's hectic start).


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Measuring, marking and cutting filled the next few hours.

Anya sets out ambitiously P1016029

Sophia works on her chair P1016017

Katia is excited to get building P1016019

Elizabeth demonstraights her classic level of focus D7K 7822

Segal marks and measures D7K 7863

Zada makes rapid progress P1016014

Last night a crew of the kids began playing poker with a fairly classy set of chips brought by Jonah. Obviously played without any actually money, this game has quickly become and amazing social centerpiece to the evening. When presented with the challenge of making chairs, a few kids set out to make a set of chairs and a table to enhance their playing experience. Interestingly, due to supply constraints, everything stayed small and low.

Evan works on his 6 in high poker seat P1016024

Addison is committed to nearly perfect alignment P1016027

Althea tries to make the connections secure P1016037

The chairs start to take shape and get strong, often with interesting structural solutions. IMG 7745

High backs and even office style swivel chairs were experimented with D7K 7921

Jonah and Frannie cut out the table's top IMG 7771

The poker table take shape and gets used IMG 7780

Sophia's throne is made from the 1x4's of her fallen foes IMG 7781

Ben plays with a innovative 3 leg solution made entirely of available scrap P1016043

In the afternoon, with some serious trial and error under our belt, we announced the week's big project. We are going to make bike pulled campers in teams of 3 and four. We each have 12 1x4s, 1 2x4, a tarp, and a sheet of super thin ply.

Excitement builds, plans are drawn and building starts right away. The excitement was so high and concentration so deep that Josh and the collaborators didn't get as many photos as usual.

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Portrait of a Tinkerer: Ben tries out on the bikes we will be using to pull the campers IMG 7810

Sejal and Zada build outside IMG 7816

As the creative juices flow and the hard work happens, the ranch animals keep us company and snacks keep us sane.

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At one adorable moment half the camp devolved into a lovely game of "get the baby goats to hop on us".

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There is one more silly story to leave you with from our day. Ben made his chair into a small adorable character that went on adventures and met some animals.

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