Tinkering School

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And They Gnashed Their Terrible Teeth!!

Lindsay Jones

This last weekend was our first All Girl Tinkering School! We wanted to give young women and girls a unique environment in which to develop their tinkering process and tool use skills.  

As always we started with tool training where everyone practiced using the chopsaw and power drills safely and effectively.

Mia demonstrates how to safely make one piece of wood into two smaller ones!

Everyone experiments with combining their own power with the drill to create the most powerful tool of all!

After we get comfortable using the main tools it's time to refuel and figure out how we are going to make........Giant Chompers!!

How to build a Frompie (a wombo (word combo) of Fred and Chompie)

We determined that chompers have two jaws, two lips, and toooooons of teeeeeeeeeeth!!  A tinkerer pointed out that the boxes the jaws would be made of looked like ladders, which helped us quickly count how many ladders per box and how many boxes per jaw.  One team went to the chopsaw room to start cutting our cross pieces.

Team work came naturally to this group - everyone transports studs to the work station!

While the rest of us prepared to receive them by preparing our materials and having a quick clamp tutorial.

Portia models her reCLAMPer chair

Once our supply of pieces arrive Team Assembly gets to work!

Lily, Mia,  Kate and Hannah make sure the ends of the “ladders” are square before attaching them.

Lily fastens the pieces she clamped in place.

A box materializes out of team work and skills!

3 boxes?! I think we can make a jaw!!

We leave Frompie’s jaw fragments to rest while we eat lunch.  All the chomping that we do inspires us to make teeth! These tinkerers made so many different kinds of teeth in so many ways! Some assembled the jaws while others began their foray into dentistry.

Flat teeth, pointy teeth, bloody teeth, SPIDER teeth!

Lena and Emilia become a dentist’s worst nightmare as they implant rotten teeth.

Greta and Portia look out for Frompie’s hygiene and make some capped teeth.  

As the day draws to an end we assemble the top jaw and install eye-bolts to attach Frompie’s jaw muscles to a pulley in it’s skull. Lips are applied. Frannie and Lorelei worked on making the hinging mechanism where Frompie’s two jaws meet each other. We put the jaws together as parents arrive and Frompie is so snaggle-toothed that they can barely chomp us a greeting!

Calypso and Karina attach side jaw to front jaw.

Lips as red as tempera paint!

Lorelei hammers a rod through the upper and lower jaws.

Chomp Time from Tinkering School on Vimeo.

We loved watching this group of tinkerers naturally form teams to get jobs done. They figured out how to let each person have a meaningful turn using the chopsaw and we even caught them taking turns doing a particularly challenging task that no one really wanted to do!

Together they easily fit tons of building and tons of fun into just a few hours.

More pictures on the Flickr !



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