Marble Run Wall at reDiscover Center

Now that summer Tinkering Camp has wound down, I can share some of what we’ve been up to! I will post about the camp experience in itself soon, but first I’d like to show you one of the newest additions to reDiscover Center. Take a gander at the marble run wall!

 

DSC03747

 

I worked with Molly Allis to build an 8-foot-tall pegboard wall for one corner of the studio. The top 40% contains elements designed by myself and some other facilitators and kids, which are meant to stay in place for the most part. There is a spiraling cylinder pulled from a donated gum ball machine, and a pachinko machine that uses screws as pegs. Pulley systems are set up on both sides of the pegboard to allow kids to crank marbles to the top of the marble run and let them loose.

 

The rest of the pegboard is entirely for tinkering. Kids can make elements such as ramps and funnels to add and move around, using wood, power tools, and recycled materials. Every day includes playing with the marble run wall!

 

Take a look at the videos below showing the process of making this installation and some of the first elements.

 

Barb Makes Things: Scribble Bots

Scribble bots are something I’ve been doing for quite a while, they’re awesome as a project for kids, and you can actually see some of the bots made by my Art Machines tinkering class at reDiscover Center last Friday. So enjoy this week’s Barb Makes Things with scribble bots!

 

Spring Break Tinkering School, Part 2


rDC Spring Tinkering Camp

Spring Break Tinkering School at reDiscover Center finished about a month ago now, and was great fun, and finally I have the chance to show you more pictures and video from the week! Check out my Flickr album here. The kids got a basic understanding of many of the things that go into creating a movie while building and playing with their creations. Thursday morning, we finished up our sets, props, and costumes, and in the afternoon we had some rehearsals, followed by quick filming. As it turned out, our main character was one of the script writers, and he had his lines memorized pretty much from the get go.

 

There were a few places where the counselors needed to supervise more closely than we might have ordinarily, given more time, so that we could get a video that effectively captured their creations. Several campers took turns operating the camera dolly with a counselor always on hand to keep an eye on the camera angle and record button, and one in particular took a keen interest in the audio recording, spending a lot of Thursday roaming camp with a recorder mounted on a camera tripod acting as a boom and headphones so she could hear what the microphone heard.

 

Thursday night, I edited our footage, a panoply of experimentation, improvisation, and sometimes intentional bloopers. (If I’d had more time, I would have created a blooper reel as well)

 

First thing Friday, after our welcome activity, the campers had the opportunity to see their movie, Attack of the Marshmallow Maniac, which clocked in at a whopping six minutes. Click below to watch it!

 

 

One of the things that most impressed me was that, once we hit our stride on Friday, creating elements of our theater/arcade for the parents’ screening, the campers had reached a point where they were comfortable enough with the tools that they could focus almost entirely on their creations. It is such a satisfying experience to see your campers truly absorb the medium.

 

There are many exciting plans in the works for Summer Tinkering School (one-week sessions starting June 15th – some spots are still available), but I won’t list them here in case any future campers are reading. It’s a surprise! You’ll love it!