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Session D: Day 3 - Plans and Progress

2016 Session D - JuniorsSerena G-H1 Comment

These kids are early risers - by 6:00 am a group of them are up and working their way to the Conference Center, where they find the camp Bananagrams. 

Morning activities consist of a hike out to the mailbox to drop off letters home, where we get a chance to meet some of the friendly horses that live in the pastures at the front of the ranch.

Those who choose not to hike help out with breakfast-making in the kitchen. Gandalf (Ethan) mans the pancake griddle. 

After breakfast, it's back to the drawing board to discuss our plans and decide on what challenges to tackle today. We gather in our project groups to do so. 

Then it's back to the shop! Potter places the handsaw back in its space on our beautiful tool wall. 

The tinkerers are eager to get back to building, and to put their plans into action. A queue for the chop saw rapidly develops. Liv prepares for her turn by putting on her safety goggles. 

Gandalf cuts pieces for the sides of Kablooi's cart. 

Portrait of a Tinkerer: Axel considers.

Team Sqiki begins to assemble the door to their cart. 

Now that Gever has built 24 train wheels for our group to use, it's time to think about wheelbase design. Because the task is tedious and requires precision and consistency, we're letting the Junior Collaborators put together a standard "wheel-base" kit for each team to assemble. JC Lauren works to figure out the cart design based on the spacing of our track. 

Portrait of a Collaborator: Nik, perfecting his camera selfie. It's harder to do with a DSLR than a smartphone. 

Junior Collaborator Elizabeth shows Jaya [Monkey] how to make a cut with the circular saw, then helps her do it. 

Watermelon tackles the assembly of the walls for Kablooi's train car. 

Liv and Delia work together on assembling the platform for their train car. It's nice to have a buddy to drill with. 

Sylvia meticulously marks each plank for the floor of Kablooi's cart. 

A study in hair: Lauren tries out two different hair styles at once. She's pulling it off - color us impressed. 

Nik and the Nooi engine team have designed a propulsion system that relies on having a strong line running alongside the whole length of track. They're up at Midway working on fastening and tensioning their line. 

Portrait of a Tinkerer: Avigael helps the effort from above. 

Portrait of a Tinkerer: J-Wolf articulates with his hands. 

JC Elizabeth works tirelessly to drill press out the holes for the axles the wheels will be attached to. These are a critical component of the wheelbase kit we mentioned earlier. 

Portrait of a Tinkerer: Watermelon's always cheerful. 

Sadie takes a moment to enjoy the Sky Bench built by Tinkerers from weeks past. She fits in with the architecture quite nicely. 

Nik helps J-Wolf seal the frayed end of a piece of paracord while Adam looks on. 

Lauren plays "human clamp" as Jaya drives screws. 

Gandalf and Robbie attach the car's side wall to the base they've built. 

Potter checks in with Daniel before making his cut. 

Reed attaches one of the plywood sides to the Sqiki train car. 

Axel's ready! Are you? He checks for the silent thumbs up (the signal that we're ready) from everyone present in the shop before making his cut. 

Usually, free build time happens after dinner, but some ideas can't wait. Tiny skateboards are all the rage. The kids each have the chance to apply skills they've learned so far to their own personal projects. The planning skills they're developing by working on their train cars are really starting to pay off. 

Portrait of a Tinkerer: Fox clambers on the tracks. 

Collaborator Dee and Juan (Max) work together on the cart assembly for Team Piki. Juan loves using the impact driver. 

Liv tests the start of the propulsion system Team Nooi is developing. 

Sylvia hacksaws an axle rod for the wheelbase. 

Watermelon tests out the Sqiki cart, in order to offer an outside opinion (she's part of Team Kablooi).

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Jaya and Reed design a lock for the Sqiki cart - two eyebolts and a large bolt which slides out when the nut is undone. 

Then it's high time for dinner. Each cart team is starting to get a clearer idea of what their cart bodies look like - some are even completely assembled. There's been tremendous progress, but now we're hungry. 

J-Wolf claims he's never tried chicken before. He takes his first bite and decides he likes it. It's documented here. 

After dinner, we each wash our own dishes in the mess line. 

There's a wide variety of ongoing evening activities - each tinkerer can find something they enjoy. 

Free build officially begins. Juan gets to work. 

Caroline helps another set of tinkerers write letters home. 

Wolf (Apollo) tests his balance by standing on a soccer ball. 

And Benjamin elects to quietly read Harry Potter in his bunk. 

A game of tag erupts in the parking lot. 

Back at the shop, it's time to put our projects aside for now. 

We all gather in the conference center as it gets darker, and over warm, chocolate crinkle cookies we watch a handful of (short) Steven Universe episodes. The kids giggle and munch, and then it's time to say goodnight.

We're proud of what we've accomplished so far. Tomorrow's beach day, and we'll take a well earned break. 

Tonights's blog authored by Serena with Elizabeth co-piloting. 

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