Thursday, March 19, 2015

History of 3D printing, Week 3

Highly possible scenario:

Student: "Mom, Dad, we just got a 3D printer at school!" 

Parent: "That's great, but how is this going to help you in school?"

Student: "Well, let me share with you some ways it can be used."

As I mentioned in previous posts, I wanted to refrain from having the 3D printer treated just as another "toy" in the classroom. Or, for others to look at it as a "waste of money." As adults, whether it be parent or teacher, we learn from our students. They are our next generation of course! What is technologically mind blowing to them now, I can only imagine what resources will be like when they leave college and begin their future careers.

Following the questions that remained from our digital KWL chart in week 2, I thought it would be fun to research the history and industrial background information in the form of a scavenger hunt.

At the beginning of class, we began with a video from Make. My students have been very curious about the filament inside of the printer, so even though they may not have quite understood all the printing terminology, they still had the visual process of how the plastic is made.

We then followed the filament discussion with some videos of our 3D printer and the samples I had made, giving the students an up close visual of how the printing gets completed in layers. How because it is hard for everyone to see the printer in action at once. I decided to use my camera on the iPad to airplay the live feed to our Apple TV. The students were able to work on their next activity while also viewing the printing process.

Going paperless again, I created our scavenger hunt template in Google, that was then shared with the class so they could make a copy. Working in teams, the students completed the scavenger hunt in preparation for a final whole class discussion. I provided links and infographics for my students to search through because of time constraints, but this could easily be a lesson linked into "how-to" research lessons.

We had a final discussion at the end of class to review the information and the interesting facts that they had found.

Now the questions I still have yet to make a decision on...
1. Do I plan a group project or make the 3D design project individual?
2. Do I focus the project around the idea of a "need" in society or an invention?
3. Do I focus the lesson around learning the 3D design software instead?

I worry about this because I know how interested the students are in having a 3D model of their own, but being stretched between 2 schools, I stress the time it would take to get the designs printed in time for the end of the school year.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Elementary 3D Printing Intro Week 2

Now that the gossip has started about the 3D printer in our building, one of the first questions my students had of course was....are we going to be able to print anything?

They are definitely not afraid of the 3D printer and I love that they are so curious! Before we begin to start designing 3D files, I stressed to the students that it was extremely important for them to learn about how this educational tool works, the history behind it and the purpose for industries having one.

For week 2 of our introduction, I figured I would use the traditional KWL chart, as an informal assessment to observe the information they retained from the following week, but also to see what questions they still had to guide me for week 3.

Being in the technology lab, I try to remain as paperless as possible. So I used this as an opportunity to continue to build their Google collaboration skills by having students complete the KWL with a partner in Google Docs. Following their completion of the K and W portion, I then projected a Brainpop video on 3D printing from their educator site. After viewing the video, students then continued to add to the L portion of their document prior to our class discussion.

Most questions that students still had unanswered were:
  • Who invented the 3D printer?
  • How does the filament get molded?
  • How much heat is needed to melt the filament?
  • Can you print in multiple colors? 
  • Does a 3D printer automatically fill in the hollow spaces to make the object a solid? 

This would lead us into a lesson for week 3! 

Printed example how 3D printing can be used in the Jewelry Industry. 
Twisted bracelet from Thingiverse.