Tinkering School

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Session A: Day 3

2015 Session A - JuniorsSerena G-HComment

The morning starts off slower than yesterday (the girls slept late, we made it all the way to 7am), but with enthusiasm at the chance to tackle the project we've all had on our minds.

Each team approaches the problem in different ways -we each grab the tools we need for the job.  

The First Track Team equips themselves  pens and sets to work.

And with rapid scribbling.... 

They arrive at something they can work with. 

The other track team, the "Funnel Bumpers," take a different approach, and start their first prototype. 

 

The first day of work on the project is always full of ups and downs, challenges and accomplishments, as the kids meet their first design challenges and start to imagine how the project will come together. I got the chance to talk to a few of the kids about their experiences.

Lila tells me about what the "Funnel Bumpers" were up to today.

We built our track prototype, and then we made some modifications — connecter slots from the top instead of from the bottom, for example, and then started on the actual thing. The easiest thing was definitely assembling it. One of the challenging parts was figuring out measurements that didn’t really matter, like the thickness of the boards we chose to use. When something didn’t go right, our team managed to turn it into a good thing; a piece that was to short turned into an opporunity for a connection.
— Lilah
Lilah and Marco put together a piece of track. 

Lilah and Marco put together a piece of track. 

The track team takes their prototypes to the cart team for testing . 

The track team takes their prototypes to the cart team for testing . 

Portrait of a Tinkerer: Primo studies how the track and wheel slot together. 

Portrait of a Tinkerer: Primo studies how the track and wheel slot together. 

 The First Track Team also got a lot accomplished today. Aimee talks me through their design plan and her experiences.

We decided to make a triangle shape with a brace, for stability, and have rails to make sure the cart doesn’t go shooting off. The hardest part was aligning everything, and making sure it was exactly the same. I really liked drilling — I feel like I really mastered the drill today, and I figured out how to not strip the screw — push a bit less, don’t have it running so hard. I’m looking forward to finishing the track, and seeing what it actually looks like in reality. And ride it!
— Aime

 

Clementine told me about her cart team, as of yet unnamed:

Today we got quite a bit done on the prototype and made really great progress , figuring out how to use our wheels. We’re designing extra things - a real “luxury vehicle,” with a flat bench that will deal help us stay in balance at the cart goes up and down. I got the chance to work with Jenny, Renee, Jacob, Marco. I’m really looking forward to putting the bottom on, building up the walls, and attaching the wheels.
— Clementine
The cart team draws inspiration from the wheels strew around them. 

The cart team draws inspiration from the wheels strew around them. 

The team gets a handle on the wheels. 

The team gets a handle on the wheels. 

Allison discusses the approach her team took:

“We didn’t have too much of a brainstorming session, but we started off pretty good— we were able to build the cart bottom, some guardrails, a back — Teagan worked on wheels and a steering system — afternoon. We installed the guardrails today too.



The camaraderie in the barn is tangible. Teamwork is at a peak - the kids have to work within there own team, but also within the group at large, if this project is going to come together. Carts must fit in tracks, everything has to work in unity. 

Working together creates some wonderful moments. 

We take time for other things too. The project, while engaging, isn't everything. 

Josh teaches the kids how to cut rope with a hot knife, sealing the end so it doesn't fray. 

Josh teaches the kids how to cut rope with a hot knife, sealing the end so it doesn't fray. 

Katie, a visiting collaborator, paints faces.

Katie, a visiting collaborator, paints faces.

Portrait of our Camp Manager.

Portrait of our Camp Manager.

A game of "Pancakes vs. Waffles" 

A game of "Pancakes vs. Waffles" 

 

After dinner, we have time to relax, free build, and blog time. Kids have the freedom to hang out, play on the playground, and/or pick out their own projects, like Barrow's legos.

Primo tells me his favorite moment was building a little four wheeled scooter that doesn't have steering yet during free build. 

Today ends with excitement, and kids looking forward to watching the project evolve into a real roller coaster. Tomorrow brings more project work and a trip to the beach. 

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