after school tinkering


Making Stained Glass Window Hangings with Tinkering ASP

To continue our explorations of light, shadow, and color at Lighthouse's Tinkering Club Afterschool Program, the next activity we dove into was making stained glass art. There are a few big reasons we chose to make this our next activity. First, it builds on students' interests and prior skills. In past activities, soldering has always been one of the most popular elements to participate in, but all of our previous soldering has been related to circuitry. Making a stained glass window uses those same tools and materials, but in a different way and for a new purpose.


After School Tinkering: Wood Automata

During the fall session at Lighthouse Community Charter School, the Tinkering Studio developed and delivered after school tinkering curriculum focusing on projects that used mechanisms and motions. One of the projects in the series was wood automata, where students used what they had learned previously in Tinkering Club to build automata entirely from wood.

After School Tinkering

In addition to the programs we host at the Exploratorium, the Tinkering Studio participates in several projects that expand our practice and research in after school programs. Tinkering on the museum floor, while very powerful, is by necessity limited in time, and only a small portion of our visitors return regularly to the workshop space. In an after school setting we have the privilege to design experiences that span multiple weeks, and curricula that develop over the course of months.


Tiny Theaters at Lighthouse ASP

Many of the activities we host in the Tinkering Studio are inspired by artist residencies and collaborations. This year's visit by tinkerer-in-residence Tim Hunkin was not only a great time to work together, but also prompted a new activity for us to try with students in the after school program at Lighthouse Community Charter School. Continuing on the idea of Tim Hunkin's "peep shows," we spent several weeks making Tiny Theaters.


Research + Practice

This spring we have the privilege of working with the After School Program at Lighthouse Community Charter School in Oakland to explore tinkering and making in after school time, and how it has the potential to make connections with learning in outside experiences (you can read more about the project here).


Paper Circuits in After School at Lighthouse

For the past several weeks we've been heading to Lighthouse Community Charter School in Oakland to collaborate with their After School Program to host tinkering activities (you can read more about the history of the partnership here).


Getting ready for after school tinkering program

So many things are still under construction here at our new home in the Pier 15, but one of our outreach programs at Boys and Girls clubs in the city is starting a new semester today! Meg and I used our newly set up laser cutter and made lots of embroidery thread spools.

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