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What’s in Rosie’s Toolbox?

News | Jun 18, 2020 | Back to List

Welcome to WHAT’S IN ROSIE’S TOOLBOX? inspired by Rosie the Riveter and our beloved Rosie’s Girls program!

Here at Vermont Works for Women, our Rosie’s Team was starting to miss learning about tools and how to use them in our programs, so we decided to go virtual. This series will introduce viewers to the tools we typically use in Rosie’s Girls programs and the tools most commonly found in a toolbox. To help us with this, we’ve invited women and gender non-conforming individuals in the trades to join for explanations and demonstrations of the tools.

Tune in week to week or choose a specific video for the tool it highlights! Each video will include an explanation of how to use the tool, a demonstration of someone using it, and two activities, one that does require the tool, and one that does not.

If you’re proud of what you create or how this series is leading you to explore your toolbox, tag us on Instagram @rosiesgirlsvt or Facebook @rosiesgirls with a photo or video of yourself with the tools or your project! We think you’re awesome for stepping outside of your comfort zone and would love to celebrate you.

Last step – consider exploring tools and the trades further! Whether it’s online or at home with what you already have, let yourself continue to learn about tools, various types of trades, gender diverse trailblazers, and how to make your project ideas come to life!

Note: this project highlights primarily hand tools to decrease the risk of at-home exploration. Even so, none of the tools should be used without appropriate personal protective equipment and supervision. If neither are available, we’ve included non-tool activities too!

Episode 2: Screwdrivers!

This week, Youth Program Manager Nell Carpenter learns more about screwdrivers with local woodworker and co-owner of Towards Nightfall, a design and build studio in Fairfax, VT, Cat Emil and how they can be useful when constructing furniture.

Screwdriver activity:

  1. Find one block of wood (could be a cylinder, rectangle, square, triangle, or any other shape that has one flat side) and 2-6 screws. The block of wood is the body of your robot and the screws are the limbs!
  2. Put the flat side on your table so that it doesn’t wiggle and mark 2 x’s with a pencil where the legs will go, make sure that they are far enough apart that they will both fit.
  3. Using a screwdriver that matches your screws, screw both screws in so that the head of the screws are at approximately the same height to allow your robot to stand sturdy. Make sure that your block of wood is sturdily on a surface before you try to use a screwdriver to add more screws.
  4. Decide if you want to add any more screws to be arms, a head, a tail, etc. and screw those in the same way!
  5. Bring your robot to life by decorating its body with markers, hardware, paint, etc.!

Non-screwdriver activity:

  1. Ask your parent/guardian to give you a piece or multiple pieces of fruits or vegetables that you can use for a project – it won’t be edible after this activity!
  2. Gather 1-5 pencils or pens.
  3. Using a marker or pen, mark dots on the fruit/vegetable to create a shape.
  4. Using different pens/pencils on different fruits/vegetables, try to press the pen/pencil into the object while turning it (as you would with a screwdriver!) to make a whole in the object. P.S. It’s going to feel different depending on the soft/hardness of the object! This is the same with different types of wood!
  5. Continue creating holes in your fruit/vegetable to make a shape. If the surface of your object is too hard for a pen/pencil to make a hole in, switch to a softer object.


Episode 1: Power Drills!

This week, Youth Program Manager Nell Carpenter learns more about power drills with solar installer Amber Lessard and gets to see the tool in action, as Amber puts together a garden bed this spring!

Drill activity:

*If you have a drill and want to do this activity, you must have a parent/guardian present and proper personal protective equipment*

Project – Key, jewelry, hat, jacket, etc. holder!

  1. Find a piece of scrap wood.
  2. Decide how many screws/hangers you want on the wood and locate that many screws. P.S. if you have hooks, feel free to use those!Use a pencil to mark where on the wood you will screw in the screws.
  3. Secure the piece of wood to a sturdy surface (table, counter) that is a good height for you with a clamp.
  4. One by one, use the drill to drive the screws partially into the wood so that they stick out. Be careful not to drill too far into the surface below the wood.
  5. Decorate the piece of wood!

Non-drill activity:

There are so many types of screws. They are made uniquely for different materials (wood, metal, plastic), they are different lengths and widths, and they are different shapes. When people use power drills to put a screw in a surface, they make sure that that screw is exactly right for their project. Also, there are different drill bits for different types of screws.

Activity – design a fantasy screw that has super powers!

Your screw will do more than just hold 2 things together, it may play music when it sings or turn the surface you put it into a different color! On a blank piece of paper, draw a diagram of your MAGIC SCREW. Be sure to label the special parts of your screw and consider drawing it from different angles so that someone with a drill would know how to use it! See our example left.


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