Tinkering School

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Day 2 - Let's build it big!

2014 Session D - JuniorsJoshua RothhaasComment

The morning begins slowly as we ease into our first day. We head down to feed the compost to the chickens - they love having us here, because they get bagels...

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Monday's special because it the day we begin - we learn what the project is going to be, and we set to work. And so we gather 'round to hear what we'll spend the week working on - our masterpiece to-be.

This week, we'll be building a giant jungle gym, spanning the barn, filled with sub-projects - anything the kids want to build. Minds set to work, cogs spin...

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The structure team takes a look at the beam and triangles in the barn roof for inspiration. Michael, Ludmila, Tekuru, and Dora all pitch in ideas.

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Pete, one of our collaborators, works with the elevator team: Emma, Lilah, Joey - the excitedly brainstorm.

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Gretchen and Isabella want to build a swing - and so they make their ideas a reality. Megan and Kaiden look on.

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The structure team builds beams.

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Joey tests out the plywood bottom for the elevator.

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A team works on a balance beam - to be hung above a still theoretical giant net.

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Within the hour, the barn is full of the sound of drills - construction has begun.

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Whittling breaks are encourages whenever the tinkerers feel they need one. Isabella takes advantage of that.

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The structural beams are going up.

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The "zip - line" team works on a wheeled cart that rolls down a track above the ground, with a gondola hanging from the bottom.

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Portrait of a Tinkerer: Gretchen, grinning.

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Emma and Pete screw the elevator "cabin" together.

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Tekuru's first imaginings of the jungle gym.

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After lunch, we gather as a group to reframe the problem - shifting the goals from a triangular tower to two rectangular ones, so the zip - line can span the middle.

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Isabella and Ludmilla are building a climbing wall.

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Portrait of a Tinkerer - Marco proudly shows off his bandage - he nicked his thumb whittling this morning.

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A pointy stick holder. This group has taken pointy sticks to the next level.

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The walls for tower two, beginning to go up - it's getting bigger!

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The walls for tower one are coming together too. Michael's been among the hard workers on that team.

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Kaiden screws the walls of tower two in.

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The zip-line team discusses. This tight group has a lot of design challenges and finicky bits to think through, and have been attaching the problems as they come up with tremendous patience and persistence .

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Portrait of a Tinkerer: Emma pauses her task to glance over.

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Portrait of a Tinkerer: Lydia, determined.

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Lilah grabs a hammer.

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Portrait of a Tinkerer: Isabella, wistful.

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Makai, whittling - he, along with the rest of this group, filled with avid whittlerers, are getting good at the craft.

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Joey and the elevator team work out a clever solution for creating the hugely long braid they're working on.

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Ryker and Isabella, heading towards the barn together.

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Gretchen and Tree. She's found her niche, climbing up to help attach the pulley system for the elevator test.

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Megan tries... and it works. Sort-of. Its a bit "awkward" to ride in, reports Emma. And so it's back to the barn to tinker with the problem.

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Portrait of a Tinkerer: Michael at work.

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Portrait of a Tinkerer: Kaiden helps out.

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Isabellla's contracting a miniature village, built out of wood scraps carefully decorated with sharpie.

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Aiden tries out the first floor of the first tower. Success!

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After a great day in the barn - we have two tower each almost complete to the first floor, we head in for dinner.

Then, it's time to hit the tire swings.

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Tekuru is an developing artist - she lays down on the floor of the first story to draw.

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The partially completed deck inspires a group of painter.

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We have a jungle gym. It's begun - the chaos, the huge, ambitious goal of a project that reaches into the sky - or at least the rafters. This team can do it- their energy soars, and the week is just beginning. Let's build it big!

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