Tinkering School

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Session B Day 6 - The Finish Line

Lauren Byunn-Rieder1 Comment

Friday. The last day of building is upon us. Armed with determination, we get up, eat breakfast, and head up the hill. Hayden gets started, creating a fence to keep his circular saw cut straight. 

Portrait of the Hands of Two Tinkerers: Lilly and Niyati mark out a line to cut.

Up in the treehouse, Akshay works on a pulley system to carry supplies.

Surrounding the windmill is a flurry of activity as Piki creates the windmill blades.

Lee fastens a cloth to the frame of the windmill blade using bailing wire, a delicate operation requiring a lot of focus.


Lauren lightens the mood with a few funny faces.

Kablooi's treehouse has a lower platform, but it needs a railing. Akshay sits on "the patio" and thinks about how to make it.

Nooi's boat is pretty cool on the ground, but... how much cooler would it be if it was off the ground? In order to get it in the air, Nooi moves their boat next to the treehouse.

Lilly and Niyati stand guard over their boat, holding it steady on the uneven ground.

To get the boat into the tree, we first lift it onto a wheelbarrow to hold it up, then tie it into the tree. Sean and Aman lift up the boat.

Liv stands on the patio of the Kablooi treehouse, watching Nooi hoist their boat into the air.

Panda covers their treehouse in a patchwork plywood floor. 

Katherine peeks over the edge. 

Sean explores the higher parts of Kablooi's tree, getting a great vantage point over the whole build site.

The windmill is raised! Caroline and Athena clamp supports to hold up the rotating windmill.

After rigorous safety testing, the raised boat is deemed safe to use as a swing. (Click to cycle through photos)

With the windmill spinning, the boat swinging, and the treehouses stable and sat upon, we leave the build site and head down for dinner. Our last glance back (until tomorrow):

After dinner and a few card games, we walk halfway back up the hill for another Tinkering School tradition: Friday night bonfire. After going over fire safety rules, we sit and chat around the fire.

Katherine, Gwen, and Lauren tell funny stories.

Liam examines his marshmallows, waiting for space around the fire to open up so he can toast them.

Nisa tries her first s'more! (vegan marshmallow)

Her reaction: "mmm, yum!"

After everyone has roasted s'mores to their hearts' content, we move on to a special surprise. Because milk jugs are made of HDPE, a special plastic made of purely carbon and hydrogen, it burns clean without any smelly or dangerous fumes. It's extra cool because of the alien-esque zipping/hissing sound along with the trail of fire it makes as it melts.

The next cool trick is sawdust. With all the cuts we've made on the chopsaw this week, we've accumulated a lot of it. As it's made of wood, sawdust burns quickly in puffs of flame when we throw it in the fire. (Click to cycle through photos)

Before we put out the fire, we go around and say three good memories or nice things about everyone. With spirits raised, we continue the kind comments even after the fire is out. Coupled with the pride of having completed our projects, we go to bed satisfied that tomorrow we get to show everyone what we've made!

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