Tinkering School

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Thanksgiving Break Camps, Day 1

Josh Rothhaas

Today was full of starts and stops, mistakes and errors, prototypes and re-makes. It was a day full of excellent problem solving that ended in a splash. You can see all of the days best photos and video over on our flickr.

Today we crafted a chain reaction machine. Starting with a marble Run, colliding into trolly on a zip-line, tipping a block and releasing a ball bearing down a track, which hit a stand for a baseball, then knocked over some custom made 2x4 dominos which in turn set off a paint catapult.

It started at the end. A crude, not very interesting, but functional paint launcher was already built when the day started.

The goals for the day where to improve the paint launcher, and build as many things as possible to create a complex chain reaction full of twists, turns, ups and downs.

We got right down to tool use and safety training.

Then it was down to building. We had marble runs to start.

And dominos to shape.

One of the great joys of Tinkering School is the use of real tools. Almost everyone uses the drills and a chopsaw, but sometimes things get more exotic and we use rarer tools like the router.

Our machine went way up high.

And everywhere else.

It had a lot of tiny details.

Then we ran the thing. And it mostly worked!

At no point did all the pieces work together. But this run was pretty great.

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