Tinkering School

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Session B: Day 3

2015 Session B - JuniorsLauren Byunn-RiederComment

Today people manage to sleep in a bit - it’s around seven before the sun wakes us all up. We would start working on the project, but first, breakfast. Once everyone is done and Josh manages to calm us down, we start working on the project again. Things start off kinda slow, with the momentum of earlier wearing off and everyone standing around. 

The Kablooi and Panda teams

The Kablooi and Panda teams

Eventually we motivate and begin to be rather productive. Some teams are still brainstorming, while other teams either finished that step already or are doing a small part of their course. 

 

Ryker cuts wood on the chop saw for his team, the Kablooi

Ryker cuts wood on the chop saw for his team, the Kablooi

Ideas start flowing like water. Some teams have huge ideas that would take more than a week to complete, so we have to scale them down a bit, but they are still awesome. Ziplines came up multiple times, but unfortunately since we don’t have steel cables, we had to choose other things. 

Piki has the top section, which is flat. Because some of their team members had started making a cart earlier when they were done with their bench, they had a partially constructed cart. With a little bit of work, it was finished, but didn’t have steering. Tinkering School has a history of really bad/not working steering, so it was sorta to be expected. But anyway, once they had the cart done they had to do something with it. They decided on pulling it with rope.

he Piki team figures out how to pull the cart with rope

he Piki team figures out how to pull the cart with rope

Nooi came up with an obstacle they dubbed The Cave. It is basically a crooked ladder with scrap wood which you have to climb over - in the (relative) dark. 

Allison and Tenley make the sides of The Cave

Allison and Tenley make the sides of The Cave

After Kablooi drew out their plan, they started tinkering. Their section of the course is going to consist of three balance beams, at three different difficulties. They join up at the beginning and end, but in the middle there is a challenge that is the same difficulty as the beam. 

Rhody consults Sayer on supports for the balance beams.

Rhody consults Sayer on supports for the balance beams.

Panda also brainstormed ideas for their section of the course. One part is a crooked ladder, which will go at an angle suspended between two wooden boxes.

Odyssey dances across the ladder

Odyssey dances across the ladder

No one can work straight through the day on the obstacle course. Avinash makes a fishing pole out of PVC, duct tape, and paracord. 

Avinash casts for an air-fish.

Avinash casts for an air-fish.

Lunch is sandwiches again, but this time, as Josh noted, we like each other enough that we stayed at the table talking even after we finished all of our food. Finally Josh has to interrupt the conversations to get everyone ready for siesta.

After siesta, we go back to working on the project. Inspiration strikes and we are surprisingly productive, finishing most of The Cave, some supports on the swings, and much more small things that add up.

Winter has an idea.

Winter has an idea.

The shop has all of the tools in it, so it’s often very busy.

The spot in front of the drill batteries is particularly busy.

The spot in front of the drill batteries is particularly busy.

Portrait of a Tinkerer: Ryker sits in a chair of his own making

Portrait of a Tinkerer: Ryker sits in a chair of his own making

Benefits of being at an elementary school: playgrounds abound.

Sarah climbs on the playground. 

Sarah climbs on the playground. 

As the day progresses the teams get down to business. Piki works with the primary fulcrum of their obstacle. Bringing idea to reality is always tricky. Nooi struggles with their cart, Kablooi gets monkey bars in place, while Panda starts dreaming of swings. Tunnels form, rock-walls appear and the day starts cruising.

Sebastian, Evan and Jack work together on a fulcrum.

Sebastian, Evan and Jack work together on a fulcrum.

Kelly and Katherine have a lively discussion.

Kelly and Katherine have a lively discussion.

Piece by piece and screw by screw.

Piece by piece and screw by screw.

Harrison, Chris and Kavan start testing their next iteration of their straight rolling cart.

Harrison, Chris and Kavan start testing their next iteration of their straight rolling cart.

Tenley and Allison do some parallel processing 

Tenley and Allison do some parallel processing 

The thing about tinkering in high intensity bursts like we do here at Tinkering School, is that tinkering hard requires playing hard. Out of nowhere a basket ball hoop climbing party begins.

Sophie shows us how it's done.

Sophie shows us how it's done.

Leo does his best to keep up.

Leo does his best to keep up.

Lauren struggles under the watchful eye of Climbing Instructor Sophie.

Lauren struggles under the watchful eye of Climbing Instructor Sophie.

Josh, Sophie and Leo have a pull up competition for good measure.

Josh, Sophie and Leo have a pull up competition for good measure.

At Tinkering School sometime simple tasks become great moments of empowerment. Getting a stripped screw out of a piece of wood is not an exciting challenge, but it involves a touch of thoughtfulness and a totally new tool. Folks gather round to learn how it's done.

Winter and Sarah work on a corner of their structure.

Winter and Sarah work on a corner of their structure.

The day meanders from productivity to ideation to play until dinner. After dinner comes free play filled with four square, personal projects and bunk time. By day's-end energy is still high, but bedtime is serious business for people trying to accomplish so much.

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