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Session E: Day 2 - "Things that Turn"

2016 Session E - MiddlesSerena G-H1 Comment

It's our first full work day, which is always a thrill. Gever opens the morning with two important discussion points - first, we'll talk about what we've built so far, and then, we'll introduce our theme for the week. 

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Welcome to Terminus Station! Gever introduces us to the station at the end of the line closest to our workshop. Terminus Station was put up more than four weeks ago, during Session A. 

Then we stop at Midway. The platform here used to be it's own destination, but it's been reduced to a way stop that the express trains just whiz past on the way to Tinker City. Gever poses as the mayor of an old western town, and challenges the group to dream up improvements which will make Midway a destination once again. 

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Then it's onwards towards Tinker City. 

This too, Gever explains, could be a much more fascinating vacation destination, be it for a few minutes or a few hours. He challenges tinkerers to think about how to improve it. 

And then it's time to reveal the theme for the week. Instead of a clear project, it's more of a guiding idea, which we'll let the tinkerers toy with and then decide what they want to build.

This week's theme is "Things that Turn."

We head up to the conference center to work out together what that means. We open a giant group brainstorming session - right now, every idea is valid. Write down as many as you can, in silence, as you think. Ready, go!  

Up on the luan "cork-board", the ideas are starting to pile up, and categories are starting to emerge. 

We gather the tables into a cluster, and work together to flesh out the categories. Ali and Freddie read off the ideas we've gathered so far - everything from rotating restaurants to fans, carts and helicopters to giant hamster wheels. 

And those at the tables work to assign them to categories and group them. It's the largest group brainstorm any of us at Tinkering School can remember trying.  

Then it's time to announce the teams for the week. 

On Piki - Charlotte, Beckett, David, and Trinity, with Collaborators Amanda & Nicole.

On Nooi - Lee, Allison, Ethan, and Zara with Collaborators Lindsay and Brian.  

On Kablooi - Johnny, Freddie, Dave, and Robert with Collaborator Nik and Junior Collaborator Mac

On Sqiki - Katherine, Shoshi, and Thomas, with Collaborator Miles. 

On Panda - Henry, Mia, Ewon, and Aime, with Collaborator Serena and Junior Collaborator Zach.

We take a much needed snack break. 

After snack, we split into groups. Now that we had our group brainstorm, each team will get to decide what they want to build. Team Sqiki has decided to build a "Flying Scooters" type amusement ride - where two swing seats suspended in the air rotate around a tower. 

Team Panda has decided to make a train turn table out by Tinker City. Aimee draws out the plans. 

Team Piki has decided to build a Merry-Go-Round. They're staring with the base. David holds as Beckett screws the frame together. 

It's great for photos, too!

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Gever works on modifying some train wheels into pulley wheels for the windmill Team Kablooi is assembling. 

A pulley wheel in profile. 

Elijah helps Robert out. 

Shoshi learns to use the jigsaw cutting parts for the Sqiki turntable. 

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The merry-go-round frame is together- they test it out. 

We remove the backdrop from the stage, so that we can repurpose it as a merry-go-round. It's a many-handed job. 

The Sqiki Lazy Susan, complete. 

And the seats are coming together too. 

Portrait of a Tinkerer: Freddie.

And for our evening activity, we reach for another Tinkering School tradition - knife training.  After reviewing the rules, Serena helps Lee learn to lock his knife. 

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Katherine whittles. 

Henry is the last tinkerer to receive his knife. He's been patiently reading while others demonstrate their whittling. Gever gives him a high-five once he's proven his knowledge of knife safety. 

And then it's time to head to bed. We have an early day tomorrow. It's cool to see things that turn beginning to emerge. Each group has set off on a path and is hyped about their ideas. 

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