Tinkering School

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Spring Break Camp 2015: Games! The hard tinkering begins

Lindsay JonesComment
August describes his Hungry Hippo design to the group.

August describes his Hungry Hippo design to the group.

On Tuesday and Wednesday each group transitioned from building basic frames and getting comfortable working with tools to tackling complex design problems and then making physical solutions.

The Hungry Hippos had a brainstorm about how to make hippos that could munch food. They determined that there were two kinds of movement that such a hippo would need: up and down and back and forth. After some discussion they started several different experiments to see what kinds of solutions they could discover!

 

Meanwhile on the other side of the building the Air Hockey team has split up into smaller groups, so that they can work on the goal boxes, the pucks and mallets, and the table itself.

Above the goal boxes with puck ramps are constructed.

Below, the puck and mallet makers experimented with two different ways to make circles.  The super tricksy, mind-blowing way that Sean showed us, where you drill your little square of wood into a piece of plywood that is clamped to the band saw table. Then you pivot the little square into the band saw blade and with lots of concentration you can crank out a circle! 

The 2nd group cut out their squares and then used the grinder to wear down the corners until they had formed a circle. This also took a lot of concentration, so that both fingers and wood didn't get any extra material removed from them!

Silas grinds a puck!

Silas grinds a puck!

Meanwhile, the Shootin' Hoops team are making circles in a totally different way! Their circles are going to be bigger and have the insides removed. They get it done with some team bandsawing and the introduction of the jigsaw!

The outer perimeters are cut on the bandsaw.

The outer perimeters are cut on the bandsaw.

Skye drills large holes so that a jigsaw blade can be inserted to cut out the inner diameter.

Skye drills large holes so that a jigsaw blade can be inserted to cut out the inner diameter.

Dexter takes his turn making a curved cut with the jigsaw!

Dexter takes his turn making a curved cut with the jigsaw!

Whew! These kids took on some pretty hard tasks at this stage. On the other side of the hard work the projects were looking a lot like games they could play, and that excitement was fueling us all to get the projects working!  

Whenever our brains get overheated, it always nice to take a break and decorate. Which makes the projects that much more real.

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