framing, and an excess of paint

Construction in forms large and small framed this day. The older kids spent the morning constructing the frames of the two-story Kid City while the the younger kids headed to San Francisco General Hospital’s construction site just a few blocks away from our little school. Mix in a little paint and you have a day.

The foundation at the hospital went down three stories! Aidan assured me that this “isn’t too deep,” but they saw the crane moving things around so fast!

framing

Setting out 2x4s back at the school.

framing

Zada helped align the wood for strong joints and a steady Kid City frame.

framing

Connor concentrated on the task at hand.

framing

Theo helped Audrey with her play and assured me he would soon know the secrets of time travel (right, Theo?)

framing

A quick break at the park before the younger kids came hurrying back to school.

framing

After lunch, Kaia prepared her feet for a record in strides.

framing

Coke took a break to read in the library – now located in the office area, thanks to Melanie and Kristie’s hard moving work.

framing

Gever worked with Henry on some gaming code and Isaac wrote more in his tale of zombie mayhem, while Stewart and Theo continued to explore the world.

framing

What can you discover from the footsteps of the kids at Brightworks?

framing

Jennie – our friend and carpentry and kids’ tool education extraordinaire – showed Audrey how to use the chop saw.

framing

Kai helped Mei stabilize her sawing so she could start building a table for her flower shop.

framing

Logan started to construct submarine that will never sink.

framing

Ben had plans of his own…

framing

Clementine and Jennie work on sturdy joints on a shelf for Clementine’s Kid City shop.

framing

Connor and Ben measure on the diagonal to square the frames for stability.

framing

Setting the frames upright.

framing

An experiment in tracing footsteps gone to the extreme – paint everywhere!

framing

Quinn composed a poem for Sofia after she fell in the paint slide:

framing

We’re painting a painting for painting the painting.
A painting was painting a painting.
She was a painting that was painting a painting.
She was painting who was painting a painting of painting that a painting can painting so well.

-quinn.

framing

“Brightworks,” Josh said, “is where clean clothes go to die.”
Norabelle, Zada, Kaia: you’ve proven this correct. It will not be the last time.

framing

planning kid city

With a day of tool use under their belts, the Brightworks kids started getting to work learning more about the materials and sizing requirements they need to build Kid City, as well as their individual projects.

This morning, we talked as a group about the dimensions of the two-story Kid City, with big rooms on the first floor and smaller rooms on the second.

planning kid city

Then they headed over to the foundation and measured out their spaces on the floor. The kids’ houses are going to be huge!

planning kid city

Band time.

planning kid city

planning kid city

planning kid city

The kids worked on their declarations and made sure they got Gever’s OK stamp so they could move forward with their projects.

planning kid city

After snack it was time to lay down the outlines for Kid City structures.

planning kid city

Some worked on getting certified to use the tools. Audrey explained drilling holes to Chane: “If you slow down the drill at the end, you can get through the hard parts.”

planning kid city

planning kid city

The collaborators presented the kids with a building challenge: construct the tallest free-standing structure possible. The tall structures taught them about making good joints when they build.

planning kid city

planning kid city

Elizabeth did an incredible job teaching the kids to use one-point perspective in drawing. Some used two or even three-point perspective!

planning kid city

planning kid city

Planning.

planning kid city

planning kid city

planning kid city

Tall structures must have strong joints – or they fall!

planning kid city

At the end of the day, Gever did a quick demonstration of load-bearing physics.

planning kid city

The kids were shocked when the wood broke under stress, but even more impressed when it held!

planning kid city

The beginnings of something amazing.

planning kid city

practicing with tools

We’re all really excited over here at Brightworks because the first day of the Expression phase has come! The kids are so ready to break out the screws and wood and start building their city and working on their very first projects for what we know will be a huge portfolio of work someday. But we start small, with one project at a time: it’s all in the doing.

Anthony and Camille worked all day Sunday to lay down the foundation for Kid City in the corner of the school.

practice with tools

When the Brightworks students arrived Monday morning, it was all tools, all the time. Everyone grabbed eye and ear protection and traveled between three different stations to practice using the tools that will soon become their extra limbs during Expression and beyond.

practice with tools

Inside, they drilled holes and drove screws with Chane and Sean.

practice with tools

practice with tools

practice with tools

practice with tools

With Mackenzie, they sawed pieces of scrap lumber with handsaws.

practice with tools

practice with tools

practice with tools

Outside on the sidewalk, they practiced hammering nails with Josh. While nails aren’t the joiner of choice at Brightworks – they’re too hard to remove – it was an excellent exercise. We calculated that the 20 Brightworks kids used more screws in a matter of hours than 150 kids used at Maker Faire earlier this year.

practice with tools

practice with tools

practice with tools

practice with tools

More drilling…

practice with tools

practice with tools

More sawing…

practice with tools

practice with tools

More hammering.

practice with tools

practice with tools

Every day the space that Brightworks lives in changes – some days more dramatically, others more subtly. It’s always exciting to see what new piece of artwork will go up on the walls, how the room dividers will be arranged, what kind of lunch table we’ll be sitting at… now we’re excited to see the changes in the buildings that go up and the changes in how our students treat tools and start to learn their secrets as they discover their abilities to build big!

practice with tools

Remember to check out more photos on Flickr!