About Kami Wilt

Kami runs Austin Tinkering School. After running a preschool as well as teaching art, science, nature, and carpentry classes, she saw Gever Tulley’s TED talk, 5 Dangerous Things (you should let your children do) and realized that Austin needed a tinkering school, stat. Gever Tulley came to visit Austin and he agreed. Now she, also, has had the pleasure of putting power tools in the hands of second graders, and has loved every minute of it.
Posts by kami

Tinkering Teachers wanted

Austin Tinkering School is seeking fun, energetic, enthusiastic, competent tinkering assistant teachers to work our summer camps from Jun. 5- July 28th, M-
F, 9-1. Pay is $15 an hour.  Email us at info@austintinkeringschool.com to apply.

Must be responsible, enjoy working with kids, have some teaching or leadership experience, be comfortable with tools and knowledgable about building and construction.

At Tinkering School, we let kids take the lead with the designs, so must be comfortable stepping out of the traditional ‘teacher’ role and collaborating with the kids, guiding them towards completion and successful projects.

This is a fun and unforgettable summer job! We build all sorts of things, from roller coasters to boats to pinball machines or giant marble mazes.

We will have some work leading up to the summer in different tinkering classes that take place at Tinkering School, so it’s a good time to train before summer starts.

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Welding demo with Cheraya.

Welding demo with Cheraya.


Month of Making!

Click here to get in on our Month of Making for only $20! Starting on Nov. 28/ Black Friday, you’ll receive awesome projects and ideas galore from guest makers like Bernadette Noll of Future Craft Collective, Kate Payne from Hip Girl’s Guide to Homemaking, Samantha Matalone Cook of Curiosity Hacked, as well as a healthy helping of hot tips from yours truly at Austin Tinkering School, delivered piping hot to your inbox every morning for the next 30 days. Kids projects, bath/body/home/hearth, food, gifts, and lots more! Set a precedent to Make this holiday season!

Art Camp: part 1!

What an awesome week we had at Art Camp!

On Monday we welcomed our first guest teacher, Christopher Locke of Heartless Machine (I’ll probably never stop raving about his kickstarter informercial for the Heartless Machine Guide to Drawing).

Chris showed us how to make instant books.  First he showed us a few of his own (hilarity ensued):

And then he shared his special recipe:

Start your first page with a hilarious animal, a name, and a profession.  Then introduce the second character.  On the third page there is a conflict of some kind, which on the fourth page is resolved, and then on the fifth page you wrap it all up with a bow. 

Luckily you still have the back page for your SURPRISE ENDING:

We started work on our string art project. Painting and hammering… straight-forward and satisfying.

On Wednesday artist Melissa Knight came to tell us about her work and to lead us in a fabric collage project.

The hand-dyed and batiked fabric that Melissa brought for us to work with was so beautiful.  A very satisfying project!

Gettin’ tinkery at the Thinkery!

We brought three Tinkering Challenges to the Thinkery grand opening weekend: The Tower of Doom, Suspense, and Lightning Run.  The new Thinkery sure is an exciting place… what a great addition to the Austin making and doing scene!  Even Sherry Huss and Louise Glasgow of Maker Media and Maker Faire dropped by for a visit… that was a pretty stupendous meet-up.  Thanks to everyone who stopped by!

Art and Tinkering: Making tops

Can kids younger than six tinker and use tools safely?  For a long time I have held fast to a six-and-up age limit.  But these intrepid 3-5 year old tinkerers are blowing my preconceptions out of the water with their focus and mad skillz.

Today we made tops.  First step… decoration.

The sharpies always flow freely at Austin Tinkering School.

(photo by Autumn Fawn Photography).

Then we used the measuring tape to measure 5 inches worth of dowel.

Pierce and Oren used the special two-handled coping saw to saw the dowel.

Nayan sharpens one end of his dowel/axis in the pencil sharpener.

Emerson is captivated by this new-fangled gadget… the manual pencil sharpener.

Clamps are used to secure the circle part of the top to the table so the dowel can be pounded through the center with a rubber mallet.

Now for the fun part (or was it all the fun part?)!

Can such a simple toy be very fun, with so many more exciting toys out there in the world?  The squeals of delight told us that yes, yes it can.



Maker Scouts: Toys and Games

Meet Your Materials summer camp

Tinkering: Seniors session