Tinkering School

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Session A : Day 2

2015 Session A - JuniorsJosh RothhaasComment

Day 2 starts early as the morning sun comes pouring into our tents. Kids and staff are up by 6:30am (many are up as early as 5am). We sit around chatting, waiting for the day to start and breakfast to be ready. By 7:30 we are chowing down, getting our energy up and getting ready for the first full day of camp.

With food in our belly we head out to start tool training.

Barrow and Augie practice drill use.

Barrow and Augie practice drill use.

Josh gives a demo on the chop-saw.

Josh gives a demo on the chop-saw.

Augie follows procedure exactly.

Augie follows procedure exactly.

Lee and Jacob work on their clamping skills.

Lee and Jacob work on their clamping skills.

Allison, Aime and Renee get comfortable with all the clamping options available to them.

Allison, Aime and Renee get comfortable with all the clamping options available to them.

Gwen and Aime go all out with some art-level clamping

Gwen and Aime go all out with some art-level clamping

After tool training it's time to announce the big project. At Tinkering School the project is always a surprise until the very last second. Everyone gathers around as Josh draws a picture on a box.

What is it? what could it be? drum roll... A Chair! The kid all give a look of "wait? thats it?" Eventually Josh reveals that this is just the first mini project. We will be making chairs to sit around our fire pit later in the week. As we break into group's to make chairs Lilah chimes in with a mind blowing suggestion, "If we are going to work in groups, why don't we build benches that the whole group can sit on?" There is universal agreement about the quality of this idea, and we all head out to make our benches.

Adam and Barrow get measuring.

Adam and Barrow get measuring.

Rhody's crew starts making marks.

Rhody's crew starts making marks.

After a little break for lunch to fuel up and re-energize, the group heads back. Starter projects like these are fantastic ways to let the kids explore the tools and materials that they just learned about during safety training. All kinds of designs emerge.

Some go big and wide.

Some go big and wide.

while other go narrow.

while other go narrow.

Jacob and Lee work on connecting the two sections of their oversized bench.

Jacob and Lee work on connecting the two sections of their oversized bench.

With some quick prototyping, a lot of solid communication, and some solid team work, 4 totally distinct benched emerge.

Jacob, Lilah, Alison, Lindsay and Teagan carry their massive and very comfy bench

Jacob, Lilah, Alison, Lindsay and Teagan carry their massive and very comfy bench

Adam, Barrow, Augie, Zach, Che and Sayer take a test run of their very strong, stable and elegant bench.

Adam, Barrow, Augie, Zach, Che and Sayer take a test run of their very strong, stable and elegant bench.

Our fire pit begins to emerge.

Our fire pit begins to emerge.

With our benches behind us it was time to announce the real project this week!

A Hybrid Roller Coaster. It's a bit tricky to explain, but the basics are this. We are designing two carts that will start off rolling on a track, transition onto the asphalt ride around, then transition back onto a second set of tracks. Two teams are making carts and two teams are focused on the track. The excitement here is that all 4 teams need to stay in constant communication. Immediately the groups are abuzz, sending representatives, working out standards, and talking through logistics. By now, much of the day has slipped away and we stop for dinner with excitement, a few good ideas, some drawings and high hopes for tomorrow.

We toss some dinner in our belly, play some games and run around till sunset, and head to bed in our yurts.

Tomorrow is all hybrid coaster, all day. Who knows how far we will make it.

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