The idea was to give teachers the experience of cultivating a tinkering mindset through curiosity, confidence, playfulness, and perseverance. We gave teachers three goals for the activity: try hard, be creative, and work as a team.
Materials included 2x4s and various wooden pieces, plastic and cardboard tubes, balls and toys, and even "found" items such as chairs and Imagination Playground blocks. We also set up a workbench with drills and clamps as a tool station for altering and building onto existing materials.
Our post-activity discussion was framed around a technique we use with our students: starting a comment or question with "I like...", "I wish..." or "I wonder..." It allows for positive feedback, constructive criticism, and introspection.
The video below starts slowly but then builds to the exciting finish!
— Tatian Greenleaf