Tinkering School

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Day Two - Rolling Body Suits

2013 session 4 - JuniorsJoshua RothhaasComment

On day 2 we wake up early. Struggling to sit calmly in bed as the excitement of a new place keeps everyone's energy levels high. With a younger group we are moving bed time up a bit, and having breakfast a little earlier than usual. After some turkey sausage, eggs and english muffins, we head down to the barn. The first hour of the day is a mix of finishing up our chairs and doing some open build.

Nick gets on his protective gear as he prepares to help some campers on the chop saw. D7K 8478

Megan and Kevin work on Megan's chair. D7K 8479

Yoel goes digging through our wheel collection. D7K 8484

Rory is working on various way to prop wood so she can work independently D7K 8508

Megan, Joey, Gretchen and Ana opted to make a 4 person bench instead of individual chairs. D7K 8525

Then we gather around to announce the teams and the project. Piki, Kablooi, Nooi and Panda teams are announced and every one sits with their group around the central table. Josh attempt's to build tension before the big reveal.

Instead of giving the idea a name right away. A picture is shown. "We are going to build this."

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"Imagine it. A rolling body suit. You could just walk around until you find a nice hill, lay down and cruise."

Imaginations light up, pens hit paper and each team is off.

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Wheels are dolled out, wood limitations are explained, and the prototyping begins. Everyone quickly agrees that strap/webbing would be way more effective than rope so a hardware store run is done and each team is given 20 feet of strap.

Ideas come in and out of our heads while we look for one that will have traction. Cameron plays with different casters.

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Jonah makes a precision cut. P1110511

Yoel and Nick work on torso measurements for their chest piece. P1110523

Rory explores their first rough draft of chest piece. P1110533

After lunch Kathi (not Kathy, not Kathie, but Kathi) the science teacher on staff at Elkus Ranch gives us the animal tour. She explains how to treat each animal, who we are allowed to hang out with and pet. What animals eat what food.

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Kathi takes a moment to show us what happens to your teeth if you don't brush. D7K 8529

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Megan makes a connection with the goats. D7K 8566

Nick makes a connection with the chickens. D7K 8569

Joey embracing a new friend. D7K 8572

Gretchen works on her team's arm mounts. D7K 8594

Bryn Models as the first chest piece takes shape. D7K 8599

Joey and Greta hack saw through some threaded rod. D7K 8603

Then they take a break. D7K 8605

Our first prototype takes shape. As with all prototypes, it has some flaws. [vimeo http://www.vimeo.com/72243057 w=500&h=281]

D7K 8612 from Tinkering School on Vimeo.

Even a rough start feels like success when you own every step of the process. D7K 8614

Ana shows off another team's prototype. D7K 8618

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This tying-things-on is catching on. I am curious if refinement with make it work, or if it will, out of neceessity, be left behind. D7K 8641

Bryn puts some final details in as the day wraps up. P1110560

Jonah tests another group's chest piece. P1110561

In just 3 meals, a tradition forms. "Josh! whats our mind blowing discussion for this meal?" asks Nick. Gever started, and Josh and the collaborators continue a tradition of heady philosophy and mathematical anomalies. Yesterday we tried to wrap our head around the idea that different infinities can be bigger or smaller than other infinities. We also debated when something made by humans goes from "natural" to "unnatural" (a very unsettled debate) and which Pokemon was the best. Today it was a long fable about an old boat that led to a discussion about where identity comes from. Some of these conversation stick, many don't, but they all engage in the moment and add to a culture and atmosphere where thinking is cool, debate is welcome, and the answers are not nearly as important as the process.

Afterwards, some kids head down to the barn with Nick (the junior collaborator) for some more open build time. Some head to the tire swings with Oren to wind down. Some stay here and play board games.

Then everyone heads to bed.

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