Tinkering School

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Day 3 - Camaraderie

2014 Session C - MiddlesJoshua RothhaasComment

After a quick breakfast, the group heads for the barn, ready to get back to work, to tackle the frustrations and problems we faced yesterday afternoon with fresh eyes and minds, and to make progress. Josh, bearer of the compost bowl. IMG 0136

But before work can get started, the compost must be dispersed - the perfect excuse for an early morning visit to the chickens.

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And then it's back to work. Panda works on attaching more rubber elastics for their wheel boxes.

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And Kablooi is back to work too. Despite a minor setback yesterday afternoon - the boards with the inner grooves that allow the axle to slide vertically up and down were installed on the wrong side of the box - the team is able to adjust, address the challenge, and continue forward.

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Portrait of a Collaborator: Daniel brandishes a drill.

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The Piki's trapezoidal cart is coming along. The team works out some reinforcements and looks to add attachment points for their suspended seat.

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A peek at Piki plans.

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Ava supports the Panda suspension box, trying it outside for the first time.

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Meanwhile, Piki sets to work on brakes - wood covered by pieces of an old bike tire, which will pivot to stop the cart. On any project that involves vehicles, braking is necessary to make sure we maintain control at all times. It's also a great challenge - making and adapting braking systems that work with the wheel box design you've got.

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Working in pairs is great - you've always got the extra set of hands anticipating your needs, you have company, and when you get stuck, you have an extra mind problem solving along with you. Tuesday, now that we've had a chance to get to know one another and each-others styles of working, teams really get closer.

Rory and Kevin add the re-jigsawed boards with the internal grooves back into the correct place.

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Bits of Tinkering School creativity.

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The creature (Olaf) belongs to Eloise.

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The Nooi wheel-box factory.

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Eighteen hard-working tinkerers makes for a busy barn.

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When the weather's nice, working outdoors can be fun. Anya and Aimee work together to assemble Panda's cart-body.

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Your Daily Goat.

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Jonah takes a minute to put together the back wheels for a side project.

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Portrait of a Tinkerer: James and the Rubber Bungees.

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Teams plow forward on their projects - tons of energy, busy hands, and momentum.

The Kablooi:

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The Nooi:

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The Piki:

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And Panda:

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Hands of a Tinkerer: Rory gets in for the tough angle.

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Portrait of a Tinkerer: Eloise, pensive.

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Rory studies.

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The Kablooi need notches in the bottom side pieces in order to get the wheels low enough for the bottom of the cart to have enough clearance above the ground. Armed with a drill and a jigsaw, Junior Collaborator Serena is up for the job.

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Portrait of a Tomatillo Plant.

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Leslie, the ranch coordinator, takes the group on a tour of the ranch, introducing us to the animals and showing us the gardens.

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Eloise befriends a goat.

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Lucy, meet Lucy.

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As we clean up the barn before lunch, we get a look at the state of the projects.

Kablooi's frame is beginning to come together.

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The Nooi have a double (back to back) seat made and mounted.

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"Mango juice? Can I have it in a bowl?" Jonah asks. "My cup's outside."

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The third rule of Tinkering School - all unresolvable disputes are settled by ro-sham-bo. When Serena tells James and Jonah this, they must immediately put it to the test, creating absurd statements with which to challenge the other and then playing.

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Portrait of a Collaborator: Nova

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Kevin, eating chocolate.

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Portrait of a Collaborator: Tricia, sly.

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Karsen, knife at the ready.

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Portrait of a Tinkerer: Ari, content.

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Portrait of a Tinkerer: Rory, eyes glinting with curiosity.

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Panda's been running into a few minor issues with their wheel boxes. They work on them. Jonah plays with the tire-less bike.

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Portrait of a Tinkerer: Kevin grins.

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Portrait of a Tinkerer: Grazzia, accomplished.

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Kablooi starts attaching the bungees that will hold the wheels down.

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Nova, the photographer.

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Jonah Sr. - Click. Click.

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Kevin works on the Kablooi suspension boxes.

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The Piki's suspended "hammock" is in progress.

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Audrey tests out the new hammock.

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It steers!

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The Kablooi suspension is working, too! Kevin tests it out.

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Portrait of a Tinkerer: Zachary - a captured moment.

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The Piki take their trapezoidal ATV for a test run.

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Then reaches and improve. Jen considers adding a crossbeam.

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Test two!

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And three! Success!

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Piki, thrilled, takes a moment to rest. Their cart isn't perfect yet, but they're off to a great start.

Audrey finds a chicken.

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The Kablooi cart - nearly there.

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The Nooi's cart is ready for a test drive. James clambers aboard.

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Madelyn takes a ride!

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While excitement runs high in the barn area - two teams have now tested their carts, (though Nooi's cart body snapped in two and has to be fixed) a group headed down to the creek to explore. They return in the midst of this excitement bearing a baby bird.

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Found at the creek, the tinkerers named the baby "July." Kevin saw the bird fall out of a tree and saved it from drowning in the creek.

This brought much excitement and discussion on what to do. After learning that birds would take back offspring even after they were picked up by humans, we decided to return the bird to it's home. A group headed for the creek to do just that.

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Even though the group couldn't find the birds nest, they left it in a nearby tree. Within a minute, the mother returned, chirping to it's baby. The group left the happily reunited pair for a few minutes to give them space, and returned to find both gone - headed back to the nest. The happiest possible ending.

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Today has been filled with a wonderful sense of caring. The group has truly pulled together and begun to watch out for one another. When minor cuts and scrapes occur in the barn, alert tinkerers race to help grab band-aids and gauze. We've become protective of one another. Tuesday has been a magical day.

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Post Script: Evening activities included brownies, barn time, and these beautiful crepes, made by Nova and Jonah.

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Thanks to Nova, for selecting tonight's flicker feed of pictures and for her help with the blog.

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