Tinkering School

Last updated
Tinkering School

United States
Mottothink, make, tinker
Website Tinkering School

Tinkering School is an educational program created by Gever Tulley in California and is a registered trademark [1] of Tinkering Unlimited.



One aspect of Tinkering School is a sleepover summer camp where children come and participate in projects. The projects are based on exploration and experimentation. Making use of various materials, students are encouraged to develop projects through which they develop skills such as creativity, communication and working in groups. The children spend an entire week inventing solutions, working on projects, testing their creations, and also having fun. [2] [3] [4]

A core aspect of the Tinkering School pedagogy is the idea of a "projectory." [5] A simple mashup of the notions of “project” and “trajectory," a projectory is a project that leaves the child on a trajectory that extends the experience beyond the end of the project. This is combined with the notion of “escape velocity”. The escape velocity of a project is a measure of the participant's engagement and the resistance that the project offers to further exploration after it is built. A perfect project is one that has very high engagement (which you can measure by how easily distracted they are during the project) and very low resistance to further exploration.

Several affiliate programs have focused their activities on day camps and weekend workshops, rather than sleepover summer camp. While the projects themselves may be smaller, the projectories are no less impactful.


Computer scientist Gever Tulley founded Tinkering School in 2005.


Collaborators are the adult participants in the projects. [6] They provide support, guide the project, and collaborate with the children in the discovery of a solution.


At Tinkering School there is no set curriculum. There are no tests or evaluations, and collaborators do not teach any particular subject. All learning is student-directed and project-based.

See also

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Gravity assist</span> Space navigation technique

A gravity assist, gravity assist maneuver, swing-by, or generally a gravitational slingshot in orbital mechanics, is a type of spaceflight flyby which makes use of the relative movement and gravity of a planet or other astronomical object to alter the path and speed of a spacecraft, typically to save propellant and reduce expense.

Situated learning is a theory that explains an individual's acquisition of professional skills and includes research on apprenticeship into how legitimate peripheral participation leads to membership in a community of practice. Situated learning "takes as its focus the relationship between learning and the social situation in which it occurs".

Educational research refers to the systematic collection and analysis of data related to the field of education. Research may involve a variety of methods and various aspects of education including student learning, interaction, teaching methods, teacher training, and classroom dynamics.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">External ballistics</span> Behavior of projectiles in flight

External ballistics or exterior ballistics is the part of ballistics that deals with the behavior of a projectile in flight. The projectile may be powered or un-powered, guided or unguided, spin or fin stabilized, flying through an atmosphere or in the vacuum of space, but most certainly flying under the influence of a gravitational field.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Space launch</span> Earliest phase of a flight that reaches space

Space launch is the earliest part of a flight that reaches space. Space launch involves liftoff, when a rocket or other space launch vehicle leaves the ground, floating ship or midair aircraft at the start of a flight. Liftoff is of two main types: rocket launch, and non-rocket spacelaunch.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Project-based learning</span> Learner centric pedagogy

Project-based learning (PBL) is a student-centered pedagogy that involves a dynamic classroom approach in which it is believed that students acquire a deeper knowledge through active exploration of real-world challenges and problems. Students learn about a subject by working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to a complex question, challenge, or problem. It is a style of active learning and inquiry-based learning. PBL contrasts with paper-based, rote memorization, or teacher-led instruction that presents established facts or portrays a smooth path to knowledge by instead posing questions, problems, or scenarios.

The Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) is a Crown agency of the Government of Ontario in Canada. It was legislated into creation in 1996 in response to recommendations made by the Royal Commission on Learning in February 1995.

Educational technology is the combined use of computer hardware, software, and educational theory and practice to facilitate learning. When referred to with its abbreviation, "EdTech," it often refers to the industry of companies that create educational technology. In EdTech Inc.: Selling, Automating and Globalizing Higher Education in the Digital Age, Tanner Mirrlees and Shahid Alvi (2019) argue "EdTech is no exception to industry ownership and market rules" and "define the EdTech industries as all the privately owned companies currently involved in the financing, production and distribution of commercial hardware, software, cultural goods, services and platforms for the educational market with the goal of turning a profit. Many of these companies are US-based and rapidly expanding into educational markets across North America, and increasingly growing all over the world."

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ballistic coefficient</span> Physical measure of overcoming air resistance

In ballistics, the ballistic coefficient of a body is a measure of its ability to overcome air resistance in flight. It is inversely proportional to the negative acceleration: a high number indicates a low negative acceleration—the drag on the body is small in proportion to its mass. BC can be expressed with the units kilograms per square meter (kg/m2) or pounds per square inch (lb/in2).

Editing technology is the use of technology tools in general content areas in education in order to allow students to apply computer and technology skills to learning and problem-solving. Generally speaking, the curriculum drives the use of technology and not vice versa. Technology integration is defined as the use of technology to enhance and support the educational environment. Technology integration in the classroom can also support classroom instruction by creating opportunities for students to complete assignments on the computer rather than with normal pencil and paper. In a larger sense, technology integration can also refer to the use of an integration platform and application programming interface (API) in the management of a school, to integrate disparate SaaS applications, databases, and programs used by an educational institution so that their data can be shared in real-time across all systems on campus, thus supporting students' education by improving data quality and access for faculty and staff.

"Curriculum integration with the use of technology involves the infusion of technology as a tool to enhance the learning in a content area or multidisciplinary setting... Effective technology integration is achieved when students can select technology tools to help them obtain information on time, analyze and synthesize it, and present it professionally to an authentic audience. Technology should become an integral part of how the classroom functions—as accessible as all other classroom tools. The focus in each lesson or unit is the curriculum outcome, not the technology."

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Civic engagement</span> Individual or group activity addressing issues of public concern

Civic engagement or civic participation is any individual or group activity addressing issues of public concern. Civic engagement includes communities working together or individuals working alone in both political and non-political actions to protect public values or make a change in a community. The goal of civic engagement is to address public concerns and promote the quality of the community.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Student voice</span> Perspectives and actions of students

Student voice is the individual and collective perspective and actions of students within the context of learning and education. It is identified in schools as both a metaphorical practice and as a pragmatic concern. Tech educator Dennis Harper noted that student voice gives students "the ability to influence learning to include policies, programs, contexts and principles."

The Mount Vernon School (MV) is a private, independent, coeducational day school in Sandy Springs, Georgia, United States, with an Atlanta postal address. It was founded in 1972. The Mount Vernon School was formerly known as Mount Vernon Presbyterian School (MVPS).

Summer learning loss or summer slide, is the loss of academic skills and knowledge over the course of summer vacation in countries that have lengthy breaks in the school year, such as the US and Canada. Schools see evidence of this because students are often given a standardised test prior to the summer break and again when they return to school in the autumn.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Summative assessment</span> Assessment used to determine student outcomes after an academic course

Summative assessment, summative evaluation, or assessment of learning is the assessment of participants in an educational program. Summative assessments are designed to both assess the effectiveness of the program and the learning of the participants. This contrasts with formative assessment, which summarizes the participants' development at a particular time in order to inform instructors of student learning progress.

The Create a Comic Project (CCP) is a youth literacy program and webcomic created by John Baird. The program uses comics, many taken from the Internet, to encourage children to write their own narratives. The program began in November 2006 at the main branch of the New Haven Free Public Library as an after-school program. The project has since worked with several other groups, including the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh, Braddock Carnegie Library, and the Pittsburgh YMCA. Baird has presented the results of his work on the project at several conventions and conferences, including South by Southwest Interactive and SXSWedu. The project has been praised for its work in engaging children in learning by Marjorie Scardino, CEO of Pearson, Professor Mirta Ojito of Columbia University, and Arne Duncan, the US Secretary of Education.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Gever Tulley</span> American computer scientist

Gever Tulley is an American writer, speaker, educator, entrepreneur, and computer scientist. He is the founder of the Brightworks School, Tinkering School, the non-profit Institute for Applied Tinkering, and educational kit maker Tinkering Labs. His more recent work centers around the concept of students learning through building projects. He has delivered multiple TED talks on his work, published the book 50 Dangerous Things , and has contributed articles for many online media outlets.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Concord Consortium</span> Educational research and development organization

The Concord Consortium was founded in 1994 as an educational research and development organization to create large-scale improvements in K-14 teaching and learning through technology.


  1. "US Trademark Registration 3792085". USPTO. US Patent and Trademark Office. Retrieved 23 January 2014.
  2. Tinkering School Comic Book, http://storage.ted.com/tinker/Comic.pdf
  3. Tinkering School Official Site, http://www.tinkeringschool.com/
  4. Tinkering School Blog, http://tinkeringschool.wordpress.com/
  5. Tulley, Gever. "Projectory". Tinkering School Blog.
  6. Tulley, Gever. "Collaborators". Brightworks Website. Retrieved 23 January 2014.