Tinkering School

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Day 4 - Beach Play

2014 Session D - JuniorsJoshua RothhaasComment

Today is beach day. A Tinkering School tradition for Wednesday, it gives us a chance to stop, take some time away from our project, and reset before heading back to work.

All packed and ready, Tekuru plays on the tree as she waits for the group to gather.

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Beach day means waving goodbye to our projects for a time, taking our minds off of them, and taking the chance to play with new challenges instead.

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We explore the tools we've had all week in a new light. Away from the context of the project, it can become anything. Focusing on a specific task restricts our ability to think outside the box - we take a second to reengage that part of our minds.

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We get hands on in new ways.

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Portrait of a Tinkerer: Kaiden, captivated.

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The beach is the perfect spot to experience a sense of freedom - outside of restricted walls. Boundaries seem limitless, the landscape open for exploration.

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Beach day is pure play. Not the fun of working through a challenge, dealing with frustrations, tinkering that working in the barn is, but and exciting, "weeee" type of fun. That's what we come here for, and we find it in abundance.

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The excitement is incredible. Taking a break resets our excitement for when we come back to the barn, and makes the next two day that much better for it.

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We race to explore - this energy for exploration, the joy of trying things out - we look for it when we build, when we tinker. Sometimes we can understand it better in the distilled form we can find on the beach, but when we come back, we can apply it to the barn.

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We jump boundaries.

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At the beach, the weight of a goal is lifted from us. The option to do nothing, in and of itself, often encourages us to try something. Failure has no consequences when nothing is resting on the success. So beach day encourages us to take risks, try new things.

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Its a chance to work with our group in a new context, too, learn about each other in a new way.


Portrait of a Facilitator: Josh drying off after a swim.

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And perhaps part of the reason we have beach day is how happy it makes us.

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Beach day gets us off to a running start on the second half of the week.

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We take a break from building, get a chance to clear our heads.


It gives us a chance to rest.

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We're in a different space, and that space offers new ways to gather.


We create - headbands out of paracord, sand castles, games.

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In a strange way, beach day can be the most productive day all week. It enables us to move forward, but it is itself more than that. It's an entire platform built for tinkering, exploring, learning in the true Tinkering School fashion - through freedom and hands on play.

Portrait of a Tinkerer: Megan, home after the long day.

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After showers and dinner, we head down to the playground to swing on the tire swings - we aren't to tired to have more fun.


Swing battles! Take a look at that movement!


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