Construction Camp, Day 2

Day two brought more tool demos and practice, a few assistant photographers, and the base of our future roof-saving support beam. The younger group began practicing with drills and hammers today. We used the chop saw to cut some major pieces. Friendships are forming fast and excitement is building.

We had to gather supplies. One person in and one person out made for a traffic jam.
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The complexities of a multi-age camp (as young as 5, as old as 14) are always worth the magic moments and amazing friendships that form.
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I have an incredibly nice d7000 Nikon camera. Nearly every day of school and camp I trust my youngest friends to handle it with care and with a certain professionalism. My camera carries on unscathed, and my collection of photos from 3 feet lower grows and grows. Here are a few highlights from their perspective today.

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Now we have the skill base and the actual base. Time to build on both.

Construction Camp, Day 1

It’s week three of summer camp here at Brightworks and my first day back on the job. It was an all-hands kind of day.

We started the morning setting the tone for the week, introducing ourselves and giving space for each kid to introduce themselves. Then we presented the week’s big challenge: the roof might cave in (not really) and we have to build a support structure to hold it up. We are going to build something that touches our ceiling, over 25 feet up.

Some kids practiced with drills while others began prototyping with legos.

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If you didn’t know, tree stumps make amazing chairs, and are perfect for hammer and nail practice. So we pulled out one of the redwoods we have on hand.

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Gever gave a chainsaw demo.

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Afterwards we ventured into the world of hot glue and utility knives for more prototyping.

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…While others got right down to harvesting wood from other projects and the former Kid City.

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More photos from today and everyday can be found at our flickr page.

See you tomorrow!

progress

The lull of focused work returned to the school today after the excitement of pig butchering and everyone split up into their groups of three and four to continue making progress on their declaration projects.

Clementine showed her group the coat that her great-great (great?) grandmother made from an old salt sack and scraps of fabric left over from other sewing projects.

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Logan helped Aidan put the finishing touches on the boat that he was building with Ninja Ben (who was out sick today). They named it the SS Ben until Ninja Ben returns to give it a proper name. This video is of the SS Ben’s maiden voyage in a tub of water covered in pond liner.

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Aidan explained weight distribution in the SS Ben.

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The boat boys and their audience experimented with weight distribution and water displacement.

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Back to the drawing board to record their findings and continue building.

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Ben tested how long it would take to melt chocolate on a makeshift double boiler without touching it.

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This morning, he tried out his steak with chocolate lemon sauce recipe on the Undead Goats. It sounded like the reviews were positive.

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The stop motion kids checked out their progress.

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…and went back to shooting.

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The felting group came out from the fiber arts lab and relaxed in the welcome area.

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The quilting girls have been hard at work on their squares.

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A new construction project.

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And we ended the day with a Toy Lab game: making a sinister story out of extra keyboard letters.

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A small snippet of this day of Expression…

I was out on the floor much of today working with Natasha, Lola, Clementine and Norabelle on their quilting project. Jan Pingatore, our expert quilter (and my grandmother!) showed the members of the Flying Fish the story of Sunbonnet Sue, how to make a straight stitch, and how to sew a patchwork quilt.

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And project work continued with construction and cameras.

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not friday!

This morning as I greeted students in their Carhartt coveralls coming into school with a “Happy Friday!”, I received a “What? It’s Friday?”, a “No! I don’t want it to be Friday!”, and a “I’m going to die without school!”

Band meetings in the morning. The Slightly Undead Goats visited Coffee Bar.

no! it's friday!

no! it's friday!

Then it was back to work!

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And reading.

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Our first Expression phase is coming to a quick close with only three days of school next week, so there was a big rush to work on unfinished furniture and sectioning out spaces in Kid City.

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no! it's friday!

no! it's friday!

Audrey wrote, “I played and made a counter.”

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no! it's friday!

Other projects continued, too.

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“Today I started building my house/store. I also crocheted,” Zada wrote.

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no! it's friday!

A view from the second story.

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A pre-preview of Kid City.

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no! it's friday!

Quinn wrote about his day, “Today my band group went to a market and got some snacks. Two new kids came to visit for the day. Today I also learned how to use the jig saw, and got better and better.”

When the collaborators told everyone that there was a four-day weekend this weekend, the cries of “NOOOO!!!” vastly overruled the only halfhearted hoorays. What other kind of school gets that kind of response?

everything is awesome

The kids’ usual analysis of a day at Brightworks is that it’s awesome.

played in the rain

played in the rain

Sofia wrote today, “I finisht my book shellf.”

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played in the rain

played in the rain

played in the rain

played in the rain

Audrey was thrilled by her awesome day and wrote, “I read in Book Club. We played in the rain and yelled!”

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Rain shadows, captured in photographs.

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played in the rain

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Elizabeth’s Dia de los Muertos after-school workshop.

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Yup. Pretty awesome.

read, build, design

The kids planned their own days again today! The bands wrote out their activities for their Tuesdays on white boards so everyone would know what the plan was. They were busy and focused as they worked on their projects, took breaks at the park, and read all day.

Clementine, Zada, and Kaia decided to try their hand at busking and became trobairitzes – the feminine version of a troubadour – performing poetry and songs for passersby.

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read, build, design

Construction moved forward.

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Designing utili-aprons with fabric and staples.

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Our beautiful library! Thank you for the generous donations from our families, as well as a friend to the school who gave us a whole set of YA books.

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A half an hour of quiet reading after lunch, a practice we’re beginning to structure into our days.

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The Brightworks Book Club – Coke’s idea started today. We read the first two chapters of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

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The preciseness of the chop saw.

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Trapped!

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Furniture for Kid City houses.

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Writing at the end of the day.

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