Tinkering School

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Session E: Day 3 - Puppets

2015 Session E - SeniorsJosh RothhaasComment

Yesterday’s benches find themselves in varying states of functionality this fine and beautiful morning. Some work, some are cushy and restful, others find themselves enjoying dreaming about how their benches might work someday.

While we sit, the project announcement looms. What will it be this week? Yet again the staff has decided to explore a big and open ended prompt. One that not only leaves the kids to create solutions, but a chance to create their own problems that they think are exciting to solve. So in that spirit we tell the kids the prompt:

Make a puppet that is at least 6 ft tall or long.

*Insert Rachel giving Josh a scrunchy face look*

The air is thick with silence as the kids register something between disapproval and confusion. Puppets? Yes. Puppets. Big ones. Really cool ones. We break into our groups, Piki, Nooi, Kablooi and Panda, and break off with staff to brainstorm what the heck to do with this prompt.

The kids do not disappoint us.

20 minutes later ideas are being tossed around like crazy. Each team is glowing with pride over their ideas. There will be a Heron that heats a gopher. A Heron that rides in a trojan horse and eats gophers (the local Heron/Gopher war is popular this summer), rock-em sock-em robots, and a super-well-articulated dragon head.

We immediately start building. Some projects start with stages, others get right to the technical problems they may face, but every one dives in. Eventually dinner comes and the sun sets, but Team Nooi won’t stop. They work until Josh comes and kicks them off the projects for safety concerns about insufficient light. There is discussion about setting up flood lights for tomorrow. 

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