Knowledge of Process

"Technology is a process, a series of steps with purposeful outcomes and solutions."


Tinker School teaches Know How, Can Do. This is an empowerment process.

The learning arising from this experience is known as technological literacy. It is knowledge of process and is best learned through project experiences.

There are 12 key areas that contribute to the technology process: 

Need, Opportunity or Problem

"Crisis moments create opportunity. Problems and crises ignite our greatest creativity and thought leadership as it forces us to focus on things outside the norm."  Sam Cawthorn

Technological activity arises from real world needs and contexts. What may be seen as a crisis can also be perceived as an opportunity. What ever the situation, meaningful action and working towards an appropriate solution is fundamental to good tinker practice.

Generate Ideas

"It's not that we need new ideas, but we need to stop having old ideas."   Edwin Land

Once the challenge has been defined, ideas as to what the solution could look like are generated. All ideas are presented, and will be considered on merit and functionality as a solution is unlocked.


"Research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing."  Wernher von Braun

Working around a challenge requires researching what you currently know, what current ideas are out there, and finding out new knowledge, new ideas which can be used. We don't know what we don't know until we research.

Concept Designs

"Design is a journey of discovery."

The design process is the bringing together of the known and the unknown. It is the realisation of an idea that has not happened before. Visualise the solution, begin with the end in mind. 


"Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Design is knowing which ones to keep."

This stage is where the ongoing development of the idea is constructed. It usually uses cheap, easily shaped and joined materials to generate a working concept. It assists with showing functionality and effectiveness, and helps identify potential problems and unforeseen obstacles. 

Gather Resources

"Life is about using the whole box of crayons."

Once concepts have been finalised, then resources can be collected in order to build the solution. Resources are people, their time, materials used, tools and equipment necessary for its construction, energy consumed and money traded for access to these resources.

Build It

"Whatever good things we build end up building us."  Jim Rohn

Use all resources available to bring the idea into reality. This requires continual making, managing, organising, applying knowledge and skills into technological practice to come up with a solution.

Test & Modify

"If you can't solve a problem, its because you are playing by the rules."

Throughout the process of construction, the design is constantly reviewed and refined, to ensure that it will work effectively and efficiently. This is an ongoing recursive process happening in and thoughout the process of making the project. Problems are resolved at this stage.

Present It

"Our work is the presentation of our capabilities."  Edward Gibbons

Once the project is completed it is presented back to the stakeholders as the solution to the original need, opportunity or problem.

Evaluate It

“In evaluating ourselves, we tend to be long on our weaknesses and short on our strengths.”  Craig D. Lounsbrough

The process of evaluation aligns the effectiveness of the solution to the goals and objectives defined by the stakeholder in the design brief. This is a method of asking questions. The evaluation of a solutions' effectiveness can consider positive, negative, and other attributes. An effective evaluation tool is De Bonos 6 Thinking Hats. Evaluation is not a summary at the end of the process, it is a constant informative force in the technological process. Evaluation is the ongoing questioner, always saying "Does it work? Can it be better?"


"Everything in your life is a reflection of a choice you have made. If you want a different result, make a different decision."

Reflection is processing time between the completion of one project and the commencement on the next. The experience is examined through the lens of our principles and cultural expectations. We can recognise our strengths, areas for further growth, and recheck the alignment of tinker school values. It is a time of quiet contemplation, looking backwards in order to move forward.

Next Problem

"No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it."  Albert Einstein

Rather than frame questions for young people around "What do you want to be when they grow up?", we should be asking them "What problems do you want to solve?"

Changing consciousness with young people and youth can be a simple matter of moving them from a "fixed" mindset to a "growth" mindset learning experience. By doing so through technological literacy and thinking tools, outcomes with many divergent solutions will be possible.

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