Tinker School: Engineering Camp

Posted on August 5, 2008  Comments (8)

photo of Drilling at the Tinker School

NPR had a nice story on kids taking risks (a compliment our post from a couple days ago: Kids Need Adventurous Play) Camp Offers Kids A Chance To Play With Fire. Tinkering School gives kids a chance to make real things they use (boats, motorized bikes, bristle bots…). Their blog is awesome.

The Tinkering School offers an exploratory curriculum designed to help kids – ages 7 to 17 – learn how to build things. By providing a collaborative environment in which to explore basic and advanced building techniques and principles, we strive to create a school where we all learn by fooling around. All activities are hands-on, supervised, and at least partly improvisational.

Parents/guardians will be expected to complete the big scary liability waiver.

Tinkering School is taught primarily by me, Gever Tulley, aided of course by my indispensable wife Julie Spiegler and the inimitable Robyn Orr. By day, I am a Senior Computer Scientist at Adobe, writer, and practicing sculptor…

I started the Tinkering School because it’s the kind of thing I would like to have been able to go to myself.

I wish I could go. Related: National Underwater Robotics ChallengeScience Toys You Can Make With Your KidsLa Vida RobotTechnology and Fun in the Classroom

8 Responses to “Tinker School: Engineering Camp”

  1. Jay
    August 5th, 2008 @ 10:53 am

    This is great, I would have LOVED this as a kid!!!!

  2. Tunde
    November 3rd, 2008 @ 12:42 pm

    Very interesting concept. If kids are not given an opportunity to fool around, they would end up taking those risks when there’s nobody there.
    My mum hasn’t got the slightest clue the dangerous things i did when i was young!

  3. Deb
    December 8th, 2008 @ 8:29 pm

    This is always a winner with science students. I was always the teacher in trouble with my “higher ups” for taking my class outside and into the woods for botany and biology. They always remembered and learned the material covered in those time periods.

  4. Curious Cat Engineering Blog » StoryCorps: Passion for Mechanical Engineering
    December 13th, 2008 @ 9:45 am

    Anne loved to take her things apart. It was mostly her toys – until the day she took a clock apart and spread its contents out. When her father asked what had happened, his daughter answered, “Oh, I took it apart. Daddy fix.”

  5. Curious Cat Engineering Blog » Hands-on Engineering Education
    February 28th, 2009 @ 1:43 pm

    “we must inspire them by spreading awareness of programs like FIRST, the Infinity Project, Project Lead the Way and others that move learning from the traditional lecture-style, textbook-based environment to a more hands-on experience…”

  6. Curious Cat Science and Engineering Blog » Teaching Through Tinkering
    May 9th, 2010 @ 1:26 pm

    […] wrote about the Tinkering School, Engineering camp previously. I am a strong believer in the value of helping kids (even adult kids – the few […]

  7. 8-10 Year Olds Research Published in Royal Socity Journal » Curious Cat Science and Engineering Blog
    December 24th, 2010 @ 1:28 pm

    […] After – Test it Out, Experiment by They Might Be Giants – What Kids can Learn – Tinker School: Engineering Camp – Teen diagnoses her own disease in science […]

  8. Power tools for kids « Erik’s Blog
    March 20th, 2011 @ 12:32 am

    […] Minecraft and the Tinkering School (it’s a camp) have me inspired to use power tools and knives more with the kids. Dad gave us kids toolboxes and tools and wood and glue as kids and that was cool. We all had swiss-army knives when we were little too. […]

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