It's our final full day together - we've done a lot this week. Our train cars are beginning to look a lot like cars, and today it's time to put the finishing touches on them.
If you've been following along, then you already know - last night, the test of the wheels and wheelbase kits we've spent most of the week assembling. So today's also about finding a "Plan B" that will ensure that we can get the cars the kids have worked hard on to role on Saturday morning.
But we set all of that a side for a moment, and take an early morning trip to visit the animals.
We enjoy meeting the goats ...
And hanging out with the chickens.
And as a bonus, a stop at the playground to enjoy the tire swings.
Then it's back to the workspace to tinker with our projects. Gever defines tinkering as the time between when the project is "done" and when the project is working.
The Sqiki cart door doesn't quite close. Sadie and Jaya are tinkering - they try sandpaper, then a file, and ultimately a handsaw as they struggle to make it work. With determination and teamwork, they get there.
Build time gets serious once the chop saw starts whirring. Wolf wields it like an expert now.
Portrait of a Tinkerer: Juan, confident in his plan, his team, and his project.
Aviguel cuts a piece of luan for the roof of her team's cart. The super thin, flexible wood is somewhat finicky to cut.
Where there's a slope and a cart, play must develop. The kids have developed a sort of bobsled style ride for themselves.
From the passenger seat, it's pretty thrilling.
Watermelon is making a swing-seat for the Kablooi cart, because why have a bench where there could be a swing? With Sylvia's help, she braided paracord to ensure she'll have a strong enough rope to hold the swing up.
Sadie works on building a flag for team Piki.
Liv takes a go at the cart.
Junior Collaborator Zack helps attach fabric to the top of the Sqiki Cart.
Jaya and Sadie try out the new addition. Everything's better under a sparkling roof.
Portrait of a Tinkerer: Robbie looks fierce.
Portrait of a Tinkerer: Delia, thrilled.
The saga of the wheelbases continues. The Junior Collaborators have been working all morning to churn out standard wheelbase kits, now adapted for the skateboard wheels, which we now plan to use. But it turns out we've been assuming that the skateboard wheels take 3/8" bolts, and they really use 5/16" bolts. So now we have the wrong hardware, and the wrong size holes in all our parts, and so it's back to square one. All these lovely sets must be redone.
The Junior Collaborators built a lift to transfer various objects from the conference center balcony to the shop. They test it with some bottles of paint.
As carts trend towards mechanical completion, the tinkerers decide the carts can't truly be complete without decoration. Sylvia starts to paint the Kablooi cart pink.
Everything is better in color, but nothing quite trumps spray paint. Collaborator Dee and Team Piki decide that's exactly what their cart needs.
Avigael's got it down.
Portrait of a Collaborator: Dee has acquired some face paint.
Caroline tinkers with the train-wheel base we assembled last night, hoping she can get it to work.
Pink and blue is the color scheme of choice this week for Team Kablooi.
Deja-vu? The wheelbase team has assembled another set, this time with the right holes. Junior Collaborator Elizabeth has done something like 80 drill press holes so far today alone.
Team Nooi's propulsion plan relies on a tall pole attached to their cart. Nik uses his height to help get the pole into its stand.
Wheelbase assembly has started.
Caroline tests out the Nooi swing. Sylvia and Watermelon are very proud of their creation, and rightly so.
Jaya labels the Sqiki cart. Sqiki is our newest team name, so it's an honor to write it on a completed project for the first time.
Portrait of Two Tinkerer's Hands: Painted fingers and a yellow jacket.
Liv and Nik work together to finish the mount for the pole.
Amelia gets into the painting spirit.
Beauty shot of the Sqiki Cart.
The cars have really come together. Dee and Juan mount the Piki sign.
"You shall not pass," says Gandalf. Kablooi's painting evolved from paintbrushes to Jackson Pollock style splattering to finger-painting.
After almost three days of work (3 hours with this new design), our wheelbases are finally coming together.
Portrait of a Tinkerer: Reed
The Sqiki cart is really a fortune-telling booth. Elizabeth reads Lauren's palm.
As per tradition, Friday night is fire night. our fire tonight is quite a character.
So that means it's time to craft the perfect s'mores stick. Axel, Juan and Gandalf use their newly developed whittling prowess.
Potter has the perfect stick.
And then there is fire.
And as it gets darker, we take a moment to pause and appreciate its beauty.
Marshmallows roasting on an open fire - there's nothing quite like it.
And it's good to be together.
It's a fitting ending to a successful week. The carts are finished, and the plan is to mount them to the wheelbases tomorrow. We're proud of what we've accomplished, and glad to be together. Today, we've completed cars, painted them in beautiful colors, and lit a campfire. It's good to be at Tinkering School.