Tinkering School

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Attack of the Giant Ants

One Day WorkshopsSean Murray

The Pulitzer-winning tome The Ants estimates the total, global population of ants at any given time to be about ten thousand trillion. That is, there are about 10,000,000,000,000,000 ants alive as you read this...

One of the giant ants. These things weighed around 100 lbs., but were supported by spindly legs. Gussets are amazing.

...They must be up to something.

This Saturday, we built the two largest ants ever seen in San Francisco. 

Kenzie made a wooden potato chip bag, complete with wooden potato chips. Here, she feeds them to a giant ant.

As always, the day began with training on how to safely make wood smaller (chopsaw) and larger (drills and screws). With these simple tools, we can build complex things, like huge torsos and heads held aloft by spindly legs.

Teamwork: Sisley and Haruki.

This workshop was marked by awesome teamwork among our young builders. Everywhere you looked, kids were helping one another push drills, clamp tricky leg-connectors, fetch the next tool, or just give some encouragement.

Teamwork: Lulu and Kieran.

It felt great to be a part of such collaboration, so many individuals working together towards one common goal--kind of like ants.

Brandin, Tray, Matthew, Eli and Sean in moment of surprise and joy. This was right after we removed the sawhorses from under the ant, and saw that, indeed, it could support its own weight!

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