Building a hovercraft - FIRST CLASS

Well, it’s official. The very first class for STEAM Factory is underway.  A group of five parent-child teams is building a 10hp hovercraft that will carry 2 passengers at 30 miles an hour over land and water. It can drive down the beach and out onto the water without stopping.

In our first class, we started a “failure positive” culture. Whenever anyone fails in a task, he raises his arms, yells “I failed!!” and describes what he learned from the failure. Adults and children get to do this and there were quite a few yells in our first class. Our goal is to explicitly demonstrate to every member of our community that failing is really a “First Attempt In Learning”.  

Parents and kids have to get a safety briefing and demonstrate proper usage before using any tool independently. The review covers standard operation, what can go wrong, how it can hurt the user and bystanders and where the “blood bubble” is (the area around the tool that can cause injury). Once briefed, a participant can use a tool with supervision and, ultimately, independently.

Our first class focused on building a 2’ x 4’ storage box for all of our tools in our shared space, building a 4 x 8’ table/workbench for the hovercraft and figuring out how to create a 5’ x 10’ deck for the craft using 4’ x 8’ foam and plywood without overlapping seams.