Ever watched a video about Bronze Age metal working and thought it looked too cool for school? If so, this class is for you! Kids use power tools to either shape a piece of wood into a sword (or wand, if swords aren’t your thing ) of their very own design or finish one precut in a historic sword design. In the second half of class, they get their hands dirty making a sand cast of the wooden original, and then watch as we pour an exact copy of it in molten aluminum! When it is finished, they wrap the handle in leather and take it home!
There is no lower age limit to this class, but due to the challenge level, participants 7 or younger must be accompanied by a parent or guardian who will assist them. And you wouldn’t be alone–it is common to have almost as many parents as students attend this class to experience this amazing process.
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Greg Wenderski is the middle school science teacher at the Khabele School in downtown Austin. He is also a prolific maker, and has built catapults, crossbows, fighting robots, and child-sized tandem bicycles with his students. Once when his students studied the ancient Greeks and were fascinated by metallurgy, he built a casting forge and began casting aluminum swords with them. Inspired by biking thousands of miles as a bicycle tourist, he also loves to build unique human powered machines of all sorts. One of his Tinkering School projects, a paddle boat made of recycled materials, is featured on Instructables.com