Tinkering School

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Session B Day 2 - Build, Build, Build!

Lauren Byunn-Rieder2 Comments

Yesterday, we wondered what we would be doing this week. Today, we know we're going to build, build, build. But first, we make and eat breakfast, the most important meal of the day.

After a delicious breakfast, we all wait in eager anticipation of the big reveal: what could possibly be this week's project? Caroline continues the story of last night's challenge: the shipwreck led us to a deserted island, and we have to survive there until our rescue comes. To do so, we'll need shelter and various other survival necessities. As chatter in the room builds, we're split up into groups. 

The traditional Tinkering School groups are Piki, Nooi, Kablooi, and Panda.

Piki: Lee, Hayden, Martha, Athena, and Liam

Nooi: Niyati, Lilly, Sean, Aman, and Mads

Kablooi: Spencer, Liv, Gwen, Akshay, and Zachary

Panda: Katherine, Lauren, Amelia, and Lisa

Once we're in groups, we brainstorm group agreements. Team Kablooi signs their agreements, cementing their will to follow them.

After group agreements, we move to what's had our brains racing: the challenge of the week. How will we survive on the deserted island? What will we need? Lauren of team Panda explains her idea using a quick diagram.

Meanwhile, Piki discusses a novel idea: could the groups share? What if one group built enough shelter for another group, allowing that group to devote all their energy to another essential project?

This idea is presented to the group, and everyone is a fan. Teams Kablooi and Panda will build treehouse shelters (a very popular idea), while Piki builds a windmill/storage space to store food and power the island, and Nooi builds a boat to reach any rescuers.

Spencer explains an idea he has for a treehouse.

Meanwhile, Piki explores their windmill idea. They visualize the size of their windmill: it's a bit more than one Hayden wide, and about Caroline plus a broomstick tall.

Once everyone has agreed upon a solid idea of what their group is making, we head up to the build site. Team Panda immediately begins thinking about how to attach a treehouse to a tree without damaging it with screws or bolts. One idea is to lash pieces of wood around the tree, which could then be screwed onto.

Nooi has a detailed plan and begins construction of their boat. 

Back by the trees, Kablooi checks out their tree real estate. This tree is easily climbable and lashable: in other words, a perfect treehouse tree.

To create their boat, Nooi creates right-angled frames, a difficult task. Niyati helps Lilly create a jig to make sure all their joints are 90 degrees.

The difficulty with these right angled joints is that they're often easy to bend, which is not something we want in our boat. To strengthen the joints, Sean saws triangular plywood gussets to put in the corners.

Lunchtime! Along with sandwiches, impromptu card games are everywhere.

After eating, it's right back to building. 

Portrait of a Tinkerer's Hands: Nisa drives a screw.

In order to gain insight on platform building, Panda takes a field trip to a platform from summers past. This platform can support the entirety of team Panda plus Caroline: how did they do it?

With these new strategies in mind, Panda heads back to their tree and tightly lashes the base of their platform to the tree.

Back at Piki's windmill, Hayden and Caroline test the skeleton structure's stability. Seems pretty good, especially with the triangles in the corners. 

Boats, being rounded on the bottom, are difficult to build right-side-up. Instead, Aman goes underneath the boat to screw together the frames.

Building is exhausting, so we head back down the hill for some dinner. Afterwards, we head to Purisma Creek to explore. The water is beautiful, but just ask Liv: it's cold!

Hey... what's that? Could it be...

A crawdad! Cool!

As we head back up to the yurts, Liam is incredulous at the idea that the day has passed so quickly.

With a full day of building behind us and another one tomorrow, we can't wait to get back to building. Although we don't know what tomorrow will bring, setbacks are inevitable in any project. But with excitement running high and our problem-solving mindset continually being used, we're confident we can hurdle past whatever comes our way.

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