Teacher Training

Last week marked the first time ATS was able to do teacher training in our North location. We were joined by 4 teachers from the Ann Richards School who came to us for some hands-on training, some chats about tinkering and making in schools, and some confidence building practice.

After some very interesting discussion about enabling making in schools, maker spaces, tinkering, and challenges faced we got down to a shop tour.

Oren demonstrates his technique on the chop-saw. We had some fun talks about the fear associated with these BIG power tools, how that can be useful, and some of the steps we use at Tinkering School to ensure safety.

Confidence, and competence really come from practice. Practice, practice, practice!

The band saw is such a great tool, but only when used safely. Where are your hands?

Our space at Make SHift ATX has some pretty sophisticated tools, like this shopbot CNC router. With the cost of 3D printers, laser cutters and CNC machines coming within the grasp of many schools and maker spaces it’s easy to forget that creating a finished project with this technology doesn’t always equate to easier or faster! Much of your time is spent in front of a computer rather than with materials and tools in your hands. It’s important to remember that Tinkering and Making is about the design/build process, failure positive situations, and iteration, no matter how sophisticated the tools.  But, as you can see, Oren still loves the ShopBot.

After the shop tour and a quick snack we get down to building! We encourage this group to take a close look at the structures around them for inspiration. One lesson learned here is; clamps, precise cuts, and a good square can turn even warped wood into a solid and square structure.

We had a heck of a good time working with this group of educators. We learned a lot about the challenges they face in their schools and hopefully they got some insights into the Tinkering philosophy and some good practice and tips to take back to their young Tinkerers.