Tinker Presents our Quarterly Artist: Fnnch


These past two weeks, we've welcomed San Francisco's very own street artist, Fnnch into our classroom. His first visit included a presentation showcasing his work and talking about his inspiration and process. During his second visit, our kids got to add a new dimensional layer to personalize and collaborate with Fnnch's iconic honey bears.


From https://fnnch.com/about/:

"fnnch wants more art in more places. Public spaces are canvas upon which it is illegal to paint. By putting beautiful art on sidewalks, mailboxes and parks, fnnch forces people to grapple with the idea that they want something illegal to exist. Perhaps the art should stay, and there should be a system permitting artistic expression in these spaces."


"fnnch’s images are drawn from nature and include birds and bugs. He paints with multi-layered stencils, and he has developed several techniques that help him execute quickly and accurately. His work can be found in Alamo Square Park, Duboce Park, Hayes Valley green, Cole Valley green, and on sidewalks and mailboxes in the Lower Haight and Mission district.

Contact fnnch at fnnch@fnnch.com"


Tinker Presents Our Quarterly Artist: Elizabeth McClellan


Tinker welcomes Children’s Day School, Art Director, Elizabeth McClellan who is our new featured artist. 


"I never was more amazed than watching English and Mandarin students work with the same materials and surprise each other with what they made; pushing boundaries about
what they knew was possible. It’s this type of collaboration and creative thinking that the world needs and the arena for developing this approach to learning is in the classroom



The students and I surround ourselves with everyday materials, beeswax, cardboard, fabric and plaster and ask questions to
get building and wondering. Students ask themselves questions about the projects, they have opportunities to iterate and expand on ideas. Finally, when a student
reaches the end of a project, they present the work and talk about their process.



I’m passionate about helping students find their art and inspiration. The tools I use are familiar: science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics, with a sprinkle of history, drama, music, and poetry. I’ve had the honor of developing these ideas and collaborating with
outstanding teachers for 25 years.

Want to feel better about the future? Just take a peek into my classroom to see students become empowered, change-makers!"

- Elizabeth McClellan


Tinker Presents our Quarterly Artist: Renee DeCarlo Johnson


Tinker welcomes San Francisco artist, friend, and mom of two, Renee, to show case her art in our very own Tinker Lab. Her “Pop-Up Presentation” will be held on February 3-4. Please visit to see her and the Tinker students’ latest creations.


Renee is an abstract painter and process based artist. She decided to become an artist in high school and went on to achieve her BFA and MFA in sculpture. Renee loves to discover and explore new materials and processes, bringing her discoveries together, to form new relationships between material and process. She loves to find new processes and push the materials she works with to new places.


Over the coming weeks, Renee will be working with the students at
Tinker doing process-based projects with paint, texture, and color. In
her own work, Renee layers many different processes together to
create an aesthetic that reflects on patterns in nature as well as
patterns in our own personal lives.

Renee's focus is based not so much on the finished product, but the journey getting there and she tries to demonstrate the balance of order and chaos in everything she makes.

Renee created the mural in the upstairs entryway to the Tinker Lab, as well as the series of panels in the Lab's downstairs space.
In addition to painting, Renee also creates textiles for the home and
body, and most recently is working on a series of custom skateboards and shoes. Stop by the “pop-up” and meet Renee and see the work the children will be creating with her!



Tinker Preschool's Article in Hoodline

Original article here: https://hoodline.com/2017/10/tinker-preschool-brings-steam-power-to-inner-richmond

'Tinker Preschool' Brings STEAM Power To Inner Richmond



by Lauren Alpert, 10/24/2017

After working for years in education, Miranda Pan wanted to open a STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) school that included forest immersion.

In September, she opened Tinker Preschool in the Inner Richmond. 

Pan took over 554 Clement (formerly Mayshun Trading Co.) in March and spent six months remodeling the space and raising the ceilings to give it a more open feel.

The downstairs is still being finished and will be a large maker space with industrial-grade furniture that can withstand messy, hands-on projects.

In the morning, students and teachers explore nature nearby in the Presidio, and afternoons are designed to bridge outdoor study with the school's STEAM curriculum.

Rachel Chen, a site supervisor, said different learning approaches and theories work best when combined. Whether it comes from Montessori or expeditionary learning, Tinker believes education comes in different forms and should be connected to the great outdoors.

"During those rapid development years, multilingual experiences promote higher critical thinking and creativity,” added Chen. 

At the Richmond location, teachers speak English, Mandarin, and Spanish with the students. A couple weeks after opening, Chen said parents were already seeing unique outcomes from the multilingual environment.

A student whose parents speak English and French came home from school one day and, much to his parents’ delight, pointed out an azul marker he was using while coloring.

A second location in Cole Valley that offers a Mandarin immersion program is set to open in January, but Tinker currently offers a half-day pop-up class in the neighborhood.

The school keeps classes small to ensure safety on daily excursions to the Presidio. Applications are accepted online, and Tinker is waiving its $80 application fee for the current school year.

Tuition is $2,200 a month for full-time, $1,582 for part-time (Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays), and $1,174 for part-time on Tuesdays and Thursday.

Tinker admits students 12 months to 5 years old. Classes are broken into 3 divisions loosely based on age, but Chen notes that, “by no means do we limit children with a hard cut off into those categories,” instead focusing on individual academic and social-emotional growth.

According to Chen, Tinker’s “main goal is to build foundation for ‘love to learn’ and to cultivate a strong sense of curiosity and autonomy and thirst for knowledge.”

The inclusion of forest immersion curriculum is also meant to “create mindfulness” and remind children to think of their safety, surroundings, and the impact they can have on spaces around them.


Government names 30 amazing women doing groundbreaking work in STEM (AU)

Read full article here: http://www.abc.net.au/triplej/programs/hack/women-in-stem/8674256

By Ange McCormack


If you search ‘famous scientists’ on Google, 51 profiles pop up.

There’s your usual suspects: Da Vinci, Darwin, Einstein, Edison, Hawking, Sagan. Just some of the biggest, most impressive nerds who helped shape humanity. No big deal.

Scrolling through the names behind the world’s most fundamental discoveries and inventions, something becomes pretty obvious.

Among 51 brilliant brains - albeit chosen by Google, with an unclear criteria for them being there exactly - there’s only four brilliant women.

You could argue that it’s a pretty meaningless thing; a quirk of Google’s autocomplete function. But it reflects science, technology, engineering and Maths (STEM) today: you have to look pretty hard to find women among the ranks. It’s a total boy’s club.

In Australia, women only make up 16 per cent of 2.3 million STEM-qualified professionals - according to a report from the Office of the Chief Scientist last year. The report also found the gender pay gap in STEM was “significant, longstanding and unacceptable”, and warned, “No clever country under-serves half its people.”

Last year, the Federal Government allocated $8 million in funding for women in STEM under the National Innovation and Science Agenda to help address the problem.

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Among the first round of projects funded in December last year, Science and Technology Australia got the green light for their ‘Superstars of STEM’ program - to support 30 Australian women in STEM to become public role models and encourage the next generation of women in STEM.

Today, 30 brilliant minds were recognised for their work and passion for increasing the visibility of women in science. There’s women working and researching robotics, the science of cider, computers, rare insects, mummies, brains and ground-breaking chemistry, among other fascinating discoveries.

Seriously - if you want to feel grossly inadequate about your own achievements, head here to check them all out.

For one of the women recognised today, computer scientist and educator Dr Nicky Ringland, part of the problem comes from ingrained stereotypes.

“I thought a lot about science when I was younger, but I had this idea that scientists wore white coats and always had a pipette in hand,” Dr Ringland told Hack.

“That didn’t really appeal to me. I wanted to interact with people and solve problems and have interesting discussions. I didn’t see a path to that [through science]. Which is a bit sad but I got there in the end.”

Dr Ringland says it’s often argued that there’s a gender gap in STEM because women just aren’t interested in it.

“If women and girls are just inherently not attracted to STEM, then that’s a problem. We’re not doing a good job at showing them all the fantastic sides of science to actually get them excited, despite the image problem or other barriers they see in the way.”

Dr Ringland runs free workshops for girls and young women called the Girls Programming Network. She says the reaction to her work has seen a positive shift over the years.

“Ten years ago I was cold calling schools, saying ‘hey we’re running these free programs’... I’d get reactions from their teachers saying, ‘Oh no, our girls wouldn’t be interested in things like that.’ It’s like, ‘Thanks for asking them, thanks for giving them the opportunity.’

“But now it’s a much more positive and receptive reaction.”

For another one of the women recognised as a STEM superstar today, Associate Professor at the Brain and Mind institute Muireann Irish, the program is helping shift a significant problem.

There are all these amazing women in science, we just don’t see them.

“I think we’ve all [women in STEM] encountered scenarios where people may not necessarily have thought that we were the scientist attending the event, because we do not fit the mould.

“It’s happened to me, at meetings and events. I quite like it when it happens, because it shows that we need to do more to encourage the visibility and to normalise what a scientist looks like. I like surprising people and telling them what I do to break the stereotype.”

While there seems to be more conversation about gender diversity in STEM than ever before, Associate Professor Irish says exposing some of the industry’s flaws have had a negative impact on young women pursuing STEM.

“It’s quite sad for me to see that these really talented young girls are self-selecting themselves out of science without even giving it a chance because they’re hearing such negative commentary about bias and about challenges and work life balance and obstacles.

I was never exposed to those statements when I was growing up. I think it may be more of a deterrent for girls pursuing science.

“I think the conversations that we need to have in the science discipline is, you can do this and we need your talent and your intellect to have a really innovative and inclusive field.”

  • Author Ange McCormack