Take a bunch of kids, a pile of broken machines, and a dozen screwdrivers. Mix them together in an empty space. Adults take a step back (a few deep breaths won’t hurt, either). At first, the group might be a bit hesitant, unsure how to proceed, the room a bit quiet. There may be some questions: “Is it alright? Can I do this? What about this? Are you sure?” But once the kids are assured that they can use any and all tools on any and all machines, then the place will start to buzz.
Soon inhibitions will go shirking into the corners. Kids will work together – alone, in big or small groups. They’ll compare, ask each other questions, make suggestions. The room will be a blur of discovering, uncovering, removing, replacing, tinkering, showing, poking, trying. And possibly smashing.