Tinkering School

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2012 Session 5 - Seniors

Day Six - Burning the Midnight Oil

2012 Session 5 - Seniorsgever1 Comment

Friday Night, August 24th, 11:42pm It is quarter to midnight, and seven tinkerers are up with me as I write the blog. Three of them are playing Texas Hold 'em, two are playing Spades, one of them is playing bass, and one is just watching the whole scene. We don't impose curfew on Friday nights with the Seniors group. It's a nice time to hang out and enjoy the transitory bittersweet nature of the relationships that we have spent the week building, wallowing in a proactively nostalgic atmosphere.

By the end of breakfast, we'd decided to rebuild the track, to flatten out the turns and figure out how to deal with the excess speed. We're going for distance and thrill. And, when we saw the hay bale smash into the door frame at fourteen miles per hour, nobody thought it looked like fun.

So we head back to the drawing board to figure out everything we have to dismantle, and everything we will have to build - today. IMG 6288IMG 6291 Elijah has been working on a side-project - a combination go-cart skateboard. The nice thing about his design is that he takes advantage of the curl in the nose of the skateboard to create some caster-angle on his front wheels so he avoids some of the lock-out problems common to pivot steering solutions.

IMG 6295 Ethan decides to use carriage-bolts to repair the broken guide-wheel on the cart.

IMG 6298 Next on the list is to drop the track down to the floor for the new simplified turn design. Leo slides under the track and pulls out the screws holding the legs on.

IMG 6308 The new turns require a new set of angles, so the track crew sets up a jig for the production line.

IMG 6311 It is not lost on us that we are almost back to where we started on Monday. Will the new design be fast enough to build?

IMG 6320 Althea and Gever have to build a new transition to the floor, which requires them to cut a tricky angle or deconstruct more than they want to. They go for the cut - which works out pretty well.

IMG 6332 Portrait of a Tinkerer: Tara is a little sleepy this morning.

IMG 6389 The outdoor section of the track gets a preliminary layout to help us better understand what we have to deal with.

IMG 6401 Portrait of a Tool: Drill Press - this became a well-loved tool after the grooving operations on the boats.

IMG 6421 The loose straw from Session 4's hayboarding experiment has become an impediment to progress on the track, so Leo grabs a pitchfork and makes short work of getting it loaded into a wheelbarrow.

IMG 6448 Gever shows Ethan how to cut and clean a notch in a pole using the chop saw and mallet.

IMG 6479 There aren't many 2x4's left and Josh is protecting this one for the corner crew.

D7K 1657 Isaac and Althea enjoy the teeter-totter from last night's free-build session.

D7K 1669 Leo has developed a responsible confidence in using the chop saw over the past few days.

D7K 1695 Gever, Althea, and Christie enjoy a playful balancing game as well.

D7K 1715 It's Leftover Friday at Tinkering School when everything comes out of the fridge during lunch - which enable Josh to create a new kind of quesadilla with pepperoni glazed to the outside with cheese.

IMG 6558 Natalie's new swing has a long tail that encourages flinging the rider around in a chaotic manner. Althea's vestibular system seems to withstand Isaac's best efforts to make her dizzy.

IMG 6563 Sam enjoys a ride at the hands of Gardner as well.

IMG 6576 A test run on the new corners reveals that the guide-wheels are not allowing the cart to turn as much as it needs to. Ethan re-jiggers the wheels for the third or fourth time.

D7K 1728 Portrait of a Napper: Tara takes a break from the quiet productivity going on around her. Tinkering School takes a nap-positive view of the day.

IMG 6594 With the end in sight, Natalie suddenly realizes that the cart needs handles if we expect anyone to ride in it. Coincidentally, Elijah wants to replace his steering handles with straps.

IMG 6596 So we head up to the kitchen where we can heat something up to cut and melt the ends of the strap in a single operation.

D7K 1738 With the first corner figured out, the straight stretches that have been waiting all afternoon finally get positioned and supported.

IMG 6610 A new test run of the empty cart reveals that we are on the right track (so to speak) with the revised design. So far, so good.

D7K 1758 Then we run with a hay bale, and that works too! There is a palpable sense of anticipation in the barn all of a sudden - we may actually finish this in time to ride it!

D7K 1772 A little while later, the haybale makes it all the way through the second curve.

D7K 1778 Gever promised to give Isaac a ride in the wheelbarrow when it is time for dinner.

IMG 6635 The new steering straps work really well... but Elijah just realized that he forgot to make brakes.

D7K 1788 We go right back up to the barn after dinner and commit to finishing the track tonight.

IMG 6653 Just because it is completely dark, doesn't mean the problems get any simpler. We have to connect a straight section of track to the end of the last curve - some of the angles are tricky. A solution is devised that uses hinges and posts. Elijah and Gever team up to make it work.

D7K 1789 Everything looks like it is ready to test with a hay bale, at least as far as we can tell by headlamp.

D7K 1796 Miles holds the hay bale at the top of the track, waiting for the "Track safe!" call from Josh.

IMG 6665 Yes! All the way to the end of the line, and the bale stayed in the cart - which we hope means that a passenger will too.

IMG 6695 We end the evening with a well-deserved campfire and s'mores.

It was hard for the tinkerers to give up on the banked corner, but in the end, once we did, the whole project picked up speed again. I guess you have to know when to double-down and when to fold 'em, and projects like this are how you learn the difference.

Day Four - Going to the Beach, Tinkering School Style

2012 Session 5 - Seniorsgever2 Comments

Wednesday Night, August 22nd, 11:35pm A great educator friend, Steve Davee, once told me, "if they are right in the thick of it, going strong, then that can be the perfect time to take a break - that way they are gung-ho to get started when they come back to it." I'd like to retroactively claim that that is exactly what I was thinking when I started doing beach day, because it seems so obvious now that he's pointed it out to me.

There was palpable excitement as we drove down to the beach, but there were also a lot of "we're going to work on the roller coaster tomorrow, right?" checks. It's clear that the whole group feels that going to the beach is a good idea, but let's not forget that we're all building a roller coaster.

D7K 0917 The morning starts with some paddle building and last minute tweaks to the boats. Some of these boat designs are radical (to say the least) and "tuning" them up is deemed important.

IMG 5003 Then we take a quick trip down the hill to get the trailer - which means of course that everyone gets a ride on the running boards.

IMG 5006 Even big kids get giddy when they can ride on the outside of the truck.

EthanRidingTrailer Ethan opts to ride in the trailer on the way up the hill.

D7K 0929 Then we are on our way, and somewhere just north of San Gregorio we start to see the first real sunshine we've seen in three days.

D7K 0943 At the trailhead, we present a particularly amusing tableau as the tinkerers portage their boats to the shore.

IMG 5011 Inspired by Elijah's prodigious leap across the creek, Gardner forgets for just a moment that he has a cast on and launches himself across the water.

IMG 5013 Which inspires Leo to try as well.

IMG 5014 Elijah comes back for a second try.

IMG 5015 And Sam can't resist either.

IMG 5016 And neither can Althea.

D7K 0950 With that impulse out of our collective systems (at least temporarily), we grab the boats and head up the cliff to the lagoon we spotted last session.

D7K 0951 The trail proves doable, but tricky, for the tinkerers and their somewhat unwieldy boats.

D7K 0953 The aptly named "Flying Fish" is particularly persnickety on land.

D7K 0960 We turn around when we discover that the higher tides have filled the lagoon with big waves. Deciding that if we're going to mess with waves, we'd like to do it on a sandy beach rather than a rocky one.

D7K 0987 Miles and Elijah opt to go first and tentatively set their outrigger in the water.

D7K 0992 Where it floats pretty well until Elijah climbs on board.

D7K 0998 Portrait of a Tinkerer: Tara

D7K 1009 With a little perseverance, Elijah manages to get into the outrigger, but even in calm seas it fills quickly with water. Gever diagnoses this problem from the beach as "insufficient displacement," but doesn't tell anyone.

IMG 5105 The continually surprising Althea demonstrates a very good handstand.

IMG 5112 Next to try the waters is the skiff...

D7K 1025 ...and right off the bat we all see that it does not suffer from insufficient displacement.

IMG 5128 In fact, it's fairly sprightly, if a little tippy, and it clibms the wave fronts nicely.

IMG 5143 Which causes no end of squealing and whooping on the part of Natalie and Sam.

D7K 1031 With a little help from Josh, it can even surf.

IMG 5159 The sailors spend a few idyllic moments floating about in our little cove.

D7K 1048 Miles takes the outrigger out for another try, and quickly brings it back in.

D7K 1049 Next, Isaac, Leo, and Althea, of the Flying Fish crew are eager to try their radical design.

D7K 1052 But, like the outrigger, it too suffers from insufficient displacement.

D7K 1053 Josh's advice, as a wave rolls in during Flying Fish testing, is to "run!"

D7K 1060 We may have to apologize to the Natalie's parents - it's possible that she's having a little too much fun at Tinkering School, professional help may be needed to help her adjust to normal life.

IMG 5207 Leo manages one or two strokes of the paddle before the Flying Fish sinks beneath the waves. The tinkerers dub it "second best boat".

IMG 5238 The boats are deposited on the beach - for mere moments.

D7K 1077 Let's just try the outrigger one more time, now that the actual outrigger part has broken off in the waves.

D7K 1109 Tara takes out the boat she helped build and putters around just outside the break.

IMG 5302 Portrait of a Tinkerer: Sam

IMG 5306 Portrait of a Tinkerer: Isaac

IMG 5307 Tara gets a push from Josh and surfs in.

IMG 5324 Christie and a sea lion play peekaboo for a few minutes.

IMG 5338 A few minutes later, the sea lion comes back and plays with Elijah and Josh.

D7K 1123 Althea and Isaac decide to see how well the Flying Fish can fly.

D7K 1124 Ducking is the better part of valor, decides Althea.

D7K 1126 Which turns out to be wise when if nose-dives right in front of her.

D7K 1137 Ethan points out that the center-of-gravity will be lower if they turn it over, and as it turns out, he is right. If not graceful, it's at least more stable in the air.

D7K 1151 Running with it on the beach turns out to be just as much fun.

IMG 5428 Althea takes it for a solo spin.

D7K 1188 Some clay-like dust is found at the edge of the cliff wall. Water and tub are it takes to create sticky, gelatinous, mud.

IMG 5485 Althea and Ethan take the good boat out for a spin.

IMG 5518 Meanwhile, Josh plays the role of Pied Piper and lures the tinkerers into the waves for one last romp.

IMG 5546 Gardner keeps an eye on us, and keeps his cast dry, on his perch up on the rocks.

D7K 1207 Even Gever can't resist taking the working boat out.

D7K 1246 He discovers that the paddle is just too short to use without tipping over.

D7K 1279 Althea and Isaac adopt the role of beached seals after getting too cold in the waves with Josh.

Here's my advice; go to the beach for the day. Don't worry about the roller coaster in the barn, go to the beach and spend the day doing every whimsical thing you can think of. Going to the beach will help make the roller coaster better. Bring a shovel, and a towel.

Day Three - We Interrupt this Broadcast

2012 Session 5 - Seniorsgever1 Comment

Tuesday, August 21st, 11:43pm We laughed, we ate tacos, we played, and we built - at every opportunity, we built. From immediately after breakfast, right through to dinner and then back again after. These are my favorite days at Tinkering School, when the projects are so provocative and engaging that meals are seen as interruptions.

Althea took up a position on the track factory making units for the first turn. D7K 0648IMG 4813 Gardener's got a new side-project going but he won't divulge any details. But drilling a hole in a stick is interesting enough to Elijah to lend a hand.

IMG 4818 Miles explains the need for a railing on top of the newly erected (and still somewhat wobbly) platform. He's got Leo convinced, and they peel off to plan.

IMG 4821 Portrait of a Tinkerer: Natalie has the tools and skills to get the job done.

IMG 4829 While Miles gets things together for the railing, Leo gets to work on attaching the cross-braces that will hopefully take the wobble out of the platform.

IMG 4830 In the video game of Natalie's life, she has two lives left. We can report that her health is at 100% and she has no damage points. Also, her sack-of-infinite-holding is chock-full.

IMG 4834 Oh good, Gardner has just powered up.

D7K 0670 Isaac discovers that the right way to get your weight on a screw can sometimes make a person long for a prehensile tail.

IMG 4837 Ethan, Elijah, and Tara decide to go ahead and mount the temporary casters on the cart while we await the arrival of the new casters.

IMG 4841 With the turn units constructed, the track team sets up the parts to see how if they got the calculations right. It's going to be close, but it looks like it can work - if the cart can stay on the track.

IMG 4847 Our hunger for 2x4 grows stronger every day. No board is safe from Natalie, who is willing to remove giant eye-bolts to recover a three-foot scrap.

D7K 0680 Isaac looks on intently - perhaps wondering how she can operate a drill so easily without hanging upside down from a piece of track - while Althea sets one of the tricky screws.

IMG 4850 Miles puts the finishing touches on the new platform railing by adding a block of wood, cut at an angle, that links the two halves of skateboard deck that he decided to use as railing crossbars.

IMG 4853 Natalie puts her recently recovered piece of 2x4 in place; another rung in the new ladder that leads to the finished platform.

IMG 4865 Gardener sees Gever doing an experiment with the chop saw and volunteers to help out. Gever wants to try a new lincoln-log inspired way of connecting a eucalyptus pole to a 2x4.

IMG 4869 Gardener's job is to remove the wood from the new notch that Gever made by making many parallel cuts in the pole.

D7K 0691 The new, improved cart is ready for it's first rolling test. Elijah agrees to stop it before it runs off the unfinished end of the track.

IMG 4874 A quick check reveals that the new wheel design is affording excellent clearance on the track - looks like the cart should be able to handle the 18° changes in track angle.

D7K 0707 Gever likes rinsing out the compost bucket because it gives him a chance to throw water.

D7K 0714 After lunch, we announce a pause in the roller coaster project - tomorrow is beach day, and boats are needed! When we return to the barn, Gever and Josh introduce new materials: PVC pipe, plastic tarps, and Gorilla tape. Excitement all around!

D7K 0719 Gever draws out a few simple ideas about boat design in general, and working with PVC pipe in specific.

D7K 0730 Contrary to how it may appear now, I do recall that his drawing made pretty good sense at the time...

IMG 4892 The Piki team, Althea, Isaac, and Leo, examines their materials and then gets to work.

IMG 4896 The Kablooi team, Miles, Gardner, and Elijah, start drawing boat designs that they think could work.

D7K 0736 The tricky thing about this afternoon challenge is that the supplies are severely limited. Each team gets: 3 3/4" pipes, 3 1/2" pipes, one tarp, and one roll of Gorilla tape.

IMG 4915 Your Daily Goat: this yearling's horns are longer than she thinks, and for the third time already this week, she's gotten her head stuck through the fence. Sam and Gever rescue her with the help of a wire cutter and a spool of fence repair wire.

IMG 4921 The teams want the ends of their pipes to fit together nicely (since we didn't supply any of the standard fittings), so Gever set up a pipe grooving jig on the drill press. It's a bit of a tricky operation, that Tara seems to master quickly.

D7K 0751 Elijah gives the whole rig his vote of approval after making short work of grooving the ends of a length of pipe.

D7K 0756 The Kablooi boat suddenly starts to look like a boat.

IMG 4940 Tara passes her pipe grooving tips on to Natalie.

IMG 4952 The Nooi team, Tara, Natalie, Ethan, and Sam, is not as far along as the others, but they are making a skiff with some complicated joints.

D7K 0757 The Piki boat suddenly has a skeleton.

D7K 0760 The joints are getting better as the teams make more of them in the course of assembling their boats. Learning and practicing in the context of doing and making - one of the central ideas here at Tinkering School (and Brightworks).

D7K 0776 As the day wears on, Gever tries to calculate the displacement of a banana-shaped boat.

D7K 0790 We don't know why, but Christie and Natalie are often seen laughing and giggling together.

D7K 0797 Looks like the latest addition to the Piki boat has got Althea pretty excited.

D7K 0827 When their boat exceeds the size of the work area in the barn, the Piki take their winged craft out to the yard to finish building it. Gever wonders if they have thought about how it will fit on the trailer.

D7K 0838 With their frame finished, the Piki start to figure out how to wrap a waterproof skin on to a complicated shape.

D7K 0843 Meanwhile, the Kablooi perform a "can two of us fit in our boat" test on their nearly completed frame.

D7K 0849 Ethan fits another cross-brace onto the floor of the Kablooi boat.

D7K 0854 With Gorilla tape expended, the teams decide to lace the tarp to the frames.

IMG 4982 Over a dinner of tacos and salad, the conversation returns to the themes of the day; immortality, boat design, and free will.

D7K 0863 After dinner, everyone wants to go back up to the barn and finish skinning their boats.

D7K 0865 Some of the lacing looks downright professional.

D7K 0868 The nightshift miners (Sam and Gardner) prepare to descend into the dark depths of the coal seam.

D7K 0875 Tara works in the darkening gloom to tighten up the skin on the Piki boat.

D7K 0878 And here's what that looks like to the human eye.

D7K 0883 Natalie lends Tara a hand when the tarp starts misbehaving.

D7K 0902 The Piki boat gets hung up for safe storage over night.

D7K 0905 Elijah uses the night shift to finish up a pontoon for their outrigger.

D7K 0909 The fun we make, is the best fun there is.

Day Two - Around the Bend

2012 Session 5 - Seniorsgever2 Comments

We got started so quickly this morning that we forgot to take a single picture until 10:06am. That was either fifteen minutes ago, or two days - I can't quite tell. We've bitten off a little more than we thought, and what we have right now in the barn is less of a roller coaster than we started with... but less in such important ways. We remembered the camera right about the time that Gever was recruited to cut a chunk off the cart. It turns out that the old cart is too long for the tightness of turns the track team are planning to build. D7K 0536D7K 0547 The jigsaw opens up the opportunity for everyone - starting with Natalie - on the cart team to take it for a spin.

D7K 0552 Althea brings concentration and fine motor skills to the operation of the jigsaw.

D7K 0557 Two inches to go and Elijah steps in as the closer.

D7K 0568 Tah dah!

D7K 0569 Evidently, there is some kind of quicksand on the track. Actually, Miles, and Gardner and the gang are getting ready to move the entire track two feet to the right so that it will line up with the door better. But who will save Althea?

IMG 4698 Leo produces parts for the platform team, who are working to make getting into the cart at the top of the track safe and easy.

IMG 4722 Somehow, over lunch, we start a conversation that we will keep returning to until long after dinner. Strangely enough, it started with the observation that just a hundred or so years ago that children were considered "replacable." Which lead to a long series of anecdotes illustrating how different we think of children today.

D7K 0575 We are running out of wood - the track team has sequestered all of the 2x4's for their ambitious track-making plans - so Sam commits himself to reclaiming the wood in the projects from previous Tinkering School sessions.

IMG 4710 The ranch has just adopted two Great Pyrenees to protect the sheep from coyotes and mountain lions. The boy is a bit of an escape artist.

D7K 0582 With a dearth of good 2x4's, the platform team decides to use eucalyptus poles.

IMG 4716 Tara and Ethan work methodically through a seemingly endless series of complications in the seemingly simple task of putting wheels on the cart. The complication this time is that even the guide wheels have to handle a significant load.

IMG 4718 Worried about bumps in the track, Gardner and Sam sand down the discontinuities.

IMG 4726 As the design of the first banked corner progresses, the math gets more complicated, and Josh's notebook fills up with revised plans and formulae.

IMG 4734 Sam thinks that complicated math sometimes needs a swing break.

IMG 4738 Now, both the new dogs are roaming a bit, and creating an amusing complexity at the gate as we return from lunch and try to get up to the barn without letting a two hundred pound dog get out.

IMG 4742 After a few possible plans are considered and rejected, the track team has something they really think can work - now that the cart team has agreed to ensure that the cart can handle an 18-degree change in inclination - and Gardner starts producing compound mitered parts for the curve.

IMG 4751 Tara, Ethan, and Gever have had to invent a specialized bracket for the cart to hold the wheels at the edge of a post. Scavenging in the scrap bin yields three good metal straps that just have to be drilled, cut, and bent on the vice.

D7K 0592 Portrait of a Tinkerer: Sam in a cloud of saw dust.

IMG 4765 Sam and Leo cut out the deck for the platform.

IMG 4772 Some deeper scavenging finally comes to fruition and the cart team has another piece of scrap metal to fabricate the bracket necessary to finish up the wheels.

IMG 4778 Althea and Josh figure how the new parts of the curve go together.

IMG 4784 Elijah's cut-line happens to coincide with a hole once occupied by a screw. The tinkerers are all fascinated to see how the screw held the wood.

IMG 4787 With the complicated parts of the wheel units assembled, Ethan and Tara can now attach them to the cart.

D7K 0621 Meanwhile, the platform team is starting to see their creation take shape.

IMG 4793 Tara gets some help from Althea (special cameo of Althea's boots, which have evidently seen some adventures - including recently painting a chicken coop) to screw the new wheel-mounting bar in place.

IMG 4803 Sam clamps on the second of the rear wheels before driving "gold" screws through it to lock it in place.

IMG 4806 Portrait of a Tinkerer: Elijah, productive member of the track team and nut case.

D7K 0629 Much like a cat, Elijah enjoys playing in a box.

D7K 0635 Althea's training at circus school gives her a remarkable confidence on the stilts.

The adoption of the previous session's project (and various work products like the stilts) has been a interesting process. We seem to have to change it, not a lot, but just enough to make it really ours.

Tonight for dinner we enjoyed pasta and salad, and a continuation of the lunch conversation that had us discussing the shape of the universe, the nature of existence (and how much better it is to exist than not exist), the difference between perception and "reality", how the big bang started with seven more particles of matter than anti-matter, the inability to really know whether you are sleeping or not, and how wishing for things might or might not have any effect on the future.

It was a great day.

Day One - No Civilization Was Ever Built on Bare Ground

2012 Session 5 - SeniorsgeverComment

Sunday Night, August 19th, 2012 - 11:36pm Dig down in the streets of New York and you will find New Amsterdam. Paris is a multi-layer wedding cake of overlapping cities stretching back into antiquity. This session is trying something that has never been done at Tinkering School before; we will build on top of, and extend, the roller coaster that Session 4 built.

In the mid-afternoon, Gever starts by establishing the ground rules of Tinkering School. Firstly, don't hurt your self, or anyone else. Secondly, if you see a piece of fruit, and you want it, you must eat it. After that it's pretty much noise; don't play chase games in the house, no tools get left on the floor, don't touch other people's stuff without permission, don't antagonize the animals, and so forth. D7K 0321IMG 4647 Gever's "Structural Engineering 101" starts to get interesting when he recruits Natalie to help him demonstrate how strong a 1x4 is when it takes the weight on the edge.

D7K 0344 Althea lends her gymnastics abilities to the effort to break the 1x4 when it is laying flat across the blocks, but the elastic nature of the wood resists her best efforts.

IMG 4650 The audience stays with him when Gever dips into the structure of a cell to explain how the wood can bend and recover.

IMG 4652 Tara is happy to lend a (sandal-clad) foot to test the limits of the wood. A cheer spontaneously erupts when the loud snap of the wood splitting echoes through the barn.

IMG 4653Forensic analysis of the break reveals a lot about they way that wood holds together.

D7K 0356 A 2x4 four, according to Isaac and the majority of the Tinkerers, should be almost impossible to break.

D7K 0370 To test the strength of the 2x4 we decide to deploy the Hammer of Thor (a piece of railroad track lashed to a sturdy pole).

D7K 0371 Our estimate is that the chunk of iron weighs about eighty pounds.

D7K 0381 We measure the distance from the target and get the hammer situated to ensure a good clean hit.

D7K 0389 Everybody likes it when a you get to smash something for the sake of science.

D7K 0406 A healthy discussion breaks out about whether or not the board laid down before or after the hammer hit it. The photos don't show the actual moment of impact. Sam, Gardner, Leo, and Natalie find much to debate.

D7K 0416 Back in the barn, the tool training gets underway. Gardner is up first on the chop-saw.

D7K 0420 Natalie decides to wear safety goggles over her glasses to keep the dust out during sawing operations.

D7K 0425 Elijah has been to Tinkering School before, but we didn't get much use of the chop saw on his previous project.

D7K 0428 Maybe it's the gymnastics training, but Althea has admirably good stance and body position for the cut operation.

D7K 0431 Isaac is an old hand at the chop saw since it's a central element in the Brightworks workshop where he attends school - but it never hurts to have a refresher.

D7K 0433 Ethan takes his turn as well.

D7K 0436 And Miles.

D7K 0438 And Tara.

D7K 0441 And Sam.

IMG 4670 We move on to learning some basic skills on the cordless drills. Althea demonstrates the proper way to make a hole and not break the drill-bit in the process.

IMG 4671 Which is nicely emulated by Natalie.

IMG 4673 Before we go to dinner, Gever decides that it will help the tinkerers think about how to design new extensions to the track if they all ride it first. Tara is nominated to go first.

IMG 4674 Followed by Elijah.

IMG 4676 And Isaac.

IMG 4677 And Miles (as a writer, I am challenged by the moments at Tinkering School where everyone takes a turn doing the same thing).

IMG 4678 And Gardener.

IMG 4680 And Natalie, who sees the camera coming and hams it up.

IMG 4681 And Leo, who, upon arriving at the end, declares it, "Not as scary as I thought it would be."

IMG 4682 And Ethan.

IMG 4683 And Collaborator Christie, who goes by in an absolute blur.

D7K 0469 Over dinner, Gever instigates a discussion of ways that the track could be improved and extended.

D7K 0476 Josh, barely able to keep up, takes down the ideas in his notebook. When the ideas run dry, he poses brain-bending logic problem.

D7K 0480 Tara and Althea accept the challenge and retire to their room to work it out on paper.

D7K 0485 The diagrams quickly become complicated.

D7K 0498 But, when they think they have the answer, they return to the dining room and present it to Josh - by diggity, they've got it!

D7K 0515 After dinner, we return to the barn to refine our ideas and get some details down on paper.

In the morning we will divide the work into chunks that can be handled by a small team. This is how it starts.

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