On Saturday 8 girls came together to figure out how to make a Dunk Tank full of pillows! It was an ambitious project for one day: it had moving parts and would need to be safe enough for humans to be on and inside of it. Could it be done?!
First we practiced using our main tools safely while also getting to know each other and practiced our other main skill: collaboration!
During the Design phase of the project, tinkerers thought through possible mechanism functions and structure design using each others arms and pencils, sketching out shapes and dimensions, and talking through combining ideas up on the drawing board.
We decided to kick off building with the things we knew we would definitely need:
At mid-day we have almost a whole, stable Tank, a cushy Seat, and a Target lever arm!
We discuss the next steps as a group and figure out what we need to before we start tinkering with connecting the Target to the Seat.
Seat and swinging support beams were attached and the trigger too, so that we would have a beginning point for connecting the Trigger and the Seat.
The first attempt at mounting the Swinging Seat Support revealed that our cross beams needed to be spaced out more and that we had attached the hinges to the support on the wrong side!
The tinkerers quickly got to work making adjustments together!
Meanwhile - the Tank team is preparing the pillows and getting yoga mats for safety!
Soon, we had a hinged seat resting on a hinged support, which was connected to the trigger's lever arm with paracord all suspended over a pile of pillows and yoga mats! It looked very precarious: the seat was only touching the support on the very tip and those of us that were on the larger side were pretty sure if we sat on that thing it would just snap off.
And so we entered the all important Safety Testing Phase!
Stumpy, didn't break our tank or hit its head on anything, we didn't see or hear any snaps or creaks, so Pearl bravely volunteered to be our first, smallest human test.
It worked! We dunked EVERYONE! It didn't break! IT WORKED!
Today was a particularly special One Day Workshop. We almost never actually finish a project. We are usually tinkering with a project up until we run out of time so it works exactly how we want it too. If we check those first two off it usually breaks while we are playing with it. Wow.
Looking back, I think that this group of tinkerers were especially good at communicating and collaborating with each other, so that everyone knew what jobs needed to get done and so that we could agree on what those jobs were.
With a strong streak of collaboration all of our mistakes that we had to re-do a few times didn't set us back and we all had a really fun day!
For more photos of us tinkering check out the Flickr Album!