Tinkering School

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Session E: Day 5 - Build, Beach, Birthday

2016 Session E - MiddlesSerena G-H3 Comments

We do breakfast at 7:45 every morning with this crew. What is odd, is that every group gets to pick a breakfast time, but none of them actually settle on the time that they pick. This group, after some discussion and voting, picked "get up" at 7:30, and breakfast at 8 - but they made it clear on day one, that breakfast needed to be sooner. We adapt, and harmony reigns.

We assemble (ha!) at the shop for one of Gever's Structural Engineering 101 talks.

This one is about how the wood in a structure transfers weight to the core of the earth...

...and what happens when that fails.

There's camp friends, and there's best bud's.

Then, like Trinity, we all get back to work. After all, it's Thursday, and we've got a lot to do before Friday night.

The Squiki have built a massive structure for their swirly swings (not their name for it, but they haven't settled on a name yet) that is too heavy and awkward to transport easily, so, naturally, they modify a train car from last week and turn it into a cargo carrier and walk their structure to Tinker City.

Shoshi and Katherine waste no time and when the structure is parked near the area where it will be installed, they start adding the feet that will prevent it from digging itself into the ground and tipping over.

Meanwhile, at Midway station, the new spiral staircase takes shape.

Allison is fascinated by the production process and the by-products - blocks with peculiar angles.

Portrait of a Tinkerer (card shark): Thomas

Here's just one of the many many pictures the tinkerers take of their peers through the shop hatch. Tinkerers take almost 80% of the pictures at Tinkering School these days.

Mia and Aime have been plugging away at the train turntable and have told us multiple times that they are "this close" to being ready to install the deck and the turn-y parts.

The merry-go-round team is also getting close to working on the turn-y bits, so they throw a dance party on the deck they have built.

Portrait of a Tinkerer: Henry (aka Bob)

Lee has an opinion about the possibility of not building a pedestrian overpass for the train, and it's not a positive one.

Portrait of a Tinkerer: Trinity

Tools and extra materials are brought back to the shop for the morning reset. We reset twice every day to keep the mess from getting the better of us.

The windmill team needs to make their cloth propeller sails, so the Tinkering School sewing machine is unpacked and practice parts are made, but the machine is proving finicky, Johnny recruits Collaborator Nicole to help diagnose the problem.

In the afternoon break, kickball has become popular.

Elijah and Gever decided to make a replacement for the funky old drill press table. It looks pretty sweet.

Thomas loves the tools in the shop, as evidenced by the 30+ shots of the chopsaw we got to sort through tonight, which would be tedious if we didn't love Thomas and the chopsaw ourselves.

Portrait of a Tinkerer: Beckett

Gever ran the shop for the afternoon. It's one of his favorite activities because it offers plenty of opportunities to chat and understand how the tinkerers are thinking about the problems they are working on.

Meanwhile, Junior Collaborator Mac and Robert work on the rotating arms of the swirly-swings.

Once you start using Forstner bits for making large holes, you will never go back to paddle bits.

Sometimes, helping tinkerers make something can be exhausting. Serena layed down for a moment today and found herself lying there much longer than she meant to. "It wasn't ever a nap!" she clarified.

Try as we might, we all felt a bit of a slump this afternoon; there is a reason we usually do Beach Day on Wednesday, so we packed in to the cars and went to the beach.

A sandy mini-cliff proved to be a wonderful thing to jump off of, and in no time at all, even the tinkerers that wanted to stay and work were running and leaping as far and high as they could manage.

This beach is only ten minutes from the ranch, and it is so rejuvenating for everyone.

Then it's back to the ranch for dinner and birthday cookies for Johnny.

And then free-build until it gets dark.

Or a trip to the goats.

The days are long, and we sometimes run out of words to say or write in the blog, but never stop loving the kids we get to work with and the adventures we have with them.

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