For our second day of training we were able to meet at the festival site. I'm glad we did, even though the tent was still pretty noisy and hot (since construction was still going on and the doors were left open). We laughed when Tahani turned off the table lamps because they were making things even hotter in the Tinkering Studio space.
We worked on two other core tinkering experiences in the space ~ wind tubes and marble machines ~ and had the group split in half and work on one for the first hour and then switch. Afterwards, we talked about moments that felt like we were tinkering, trying to be explicit about what we were doing when we were "tinkering." Discussions were lively and I think we are all getting a little anxious to see how festival-goers are going to respond.
It was finally starting to feel real.
The group discussed that what Wind Tubes and Marble Machines had in common was that we are asking people to "make something from nothing". Several people suggested showing examples, or perhaps instructions. Some thought having a sheet that showed how to make a flower or fan for the wind tube would be better than just starting with materials that might not give you any ideas.
Comments from the workshop discussion:
• Everyone agreed that each person had to come up with a plan of some kind, either in their mind or by working with the materials to see what they could do.
• Tinkering is a definite process.
You get an initial idea --> you try it --> it doesn't work --> you think about it for a minute --> try something else --> that doesn't always work --> so you keep going until you arrive at something that works for you.
• Critical thinking skills are involved throughout, and there were many positive aspects of working together with each other this way. It was very enjoyable.
• It's all about being inquisitive and figuring out what to do.
• With Tinkering, a facilitator will not get bored by helping with the activity because everyone will make something different.
• People around you pushed your ideas further than you would have gone if you were by yourself.
• Everything here gave us a chance to look at things differently because you've never tried these kinds of things before.