Field Trips, Spoons, and Goats
MarinSEL engineering has been a fun learning experience so far. It is one of my favorite classes not just because we do not have to sit in a desk for hours but also because we get to put our hands to work and create incredible things. I never was told when I was a little kid how fun building could be. I am glad I know now. When I first started MarinSEL in high school I was told about this class from all the upperclassmen who went on and on about how amazing it was including my older sister who had learned a lot in this class. Engineering turned out to be everything I had hoped it would be if not more. Sure, there are definitely some days where I am feeling tired or lazy but overall I am excited and ready to build. There are so many things I like about this class. One is that you get noticeable results from practicing and learning. In my academic classes I may be learning and improving but the only way I can see that is in my letter grade not with any physical proof so it never ends up feeling as satisfying. Another thing I like is being able to design something and go through with it. I have been interested in designing in the past but I never found a time to be able to actually do something with it. Another part of this class that I like is the field trips. One place we went to was Urban Ore in Berkeley to find materials for our chicken coops. They had so many cool things there. We also went to The Away Station in Fairfax which was full of reclaimed materials for us to use. A field trip we have coming up that I am extremely excited for is Goatlandia. We will be building play structures for goats! That’s like the cutest thing ever. Not only that but the lady who wants us to build will make us food so it’s definitely something I’m looking forward to. There is just so much to do in this class I don’t think i could ever get bored.
The first project we worked on in the beginning of the school year was the spoon project. Although it was just a small project I actually enjoyed it very much. It was a fun way to slowly introduce me to all the tools both big and small. I was kind of scared of all the saws in the beginning and still am with some but I’m slowly getting more comfortable around everything. I enjoyed making the spoon because it was a more creative yet not too difficult task to do. I would love to do it again now and see how much better i could pull it off.
The big project we are currently working on is our chicken coops. My coop group is Sophia, Katie, Lizzi and I. We’ve been doing a pretty good job so far. I think the one thing we struggle with the most is measurements. Sometimes we may think we have it right but then it turns out to be wrong. Luckily we all work hard and care about how it will turn out in the end so we make sure to take our time and get it all right. I’m looking forward to seeing what our group has accomplished at the end of the year.
My goal for this year is to just become comfortable around all the tools and eventually skilled enough to build outside of this class without needing help on almost everything. I still have to learn the names of most of the tools but I’m sure with all the building we’ll be doing throughout the rest of the year that I’ll get it all down. I hope that I’ll get more chances after this class is over to continue building. Maybe I’ll do an internship or take some classes outside of Terra Linda but either way I don’t want to forget the skills I’ve gotten from this experience.