We operate from a few basic assumptions:

It can be done bigger and bolder

When we make abstract art, we do it by dropping paint-filled balloons from the rafters in our ceilings onto a bed of nails, by laying down a 10ft by 30ft piece of photo scrym and dancing on it, or by hanging 30ft pieces of paper from our ceiling. When we build, we create 10ft of rollercoaster track with a self-aligning cart, 4 person swings, or 25ft towers that let us touch the ceiling of the school. When we go on treasure hunts, they span days and take us across the city. Every week is different, but we can promise this: we make big art, we build big things and we go amazing places.

Kids are more capable than they know

The use of real tools to tackle real problems creates a unique atmosphere of trust and responsibility. We give six-year-olds power tools and take our whole camp on the BART to get some fresh air or see something amazing. Big responsibilities build competency and leave lasting memories.

The freedom to fail is essential

Every project has setbacks and often ours happen to be spectacular. If it goes right the first time, you’re just learning how to follow instructions. A failure-positive atmosphere allows children to play in the face of adversity.

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Tinkering School
May 2013
San Francisco
San Francisco, United States
Summer Camp
Tinkering School