I recently had the opportunity to learn and use our Junior High's Maker Bot Printer and I am amazed and excited about all the possibilities of how to integrate 3D imaging into my classroom. I am a teacher at Manning Elementary School. We are a rural school with 84% of our student population qualifying for free/ reduced lunch. The Maker Bot Printer will be housed in our computer lab. The lab is open for all classes. I am currently using our Junior High’s printer to build our 3D models. I have 2 fifth and sixth grade classes that are working on a project. Together we saw there was a need in Manning. We needed more activities for our children. We created a survey to survey a variety of people in Manning asking them what activities they like and how much would they pay. Next, we analyzed our data to determine the 5 best activities that would be beneficial to Manning. We took the measurements of the vacant Walmart building and decided that we would turn it into a fun park. We used sketch-up to create a 3D drawing of the building. We will make a model of the building and activities in the building to show to our county administrators during our presentation to persuade them to change the vacant building into a fun, thriving business. I am using the printer to create the model as well as the items inside the building. This is just one way that I could use the printer to help make connections between learning and real world application.
I have just recently, as in this week, learned about Thingiverse from another teacher at the Junior High. Therefore, I am not as familiar with it as I would like to be, but I cannot wait to dive in and learn more about the website. I feel confident that Manning Elementary School will be ready to hit the ground running when we get the printer due to the training that I have had and my helpful co-workers in the district. I am eager to begin using 3D printing in my classroom to so my students can gain the 21st century skills needed to help them become college and career ready!
What a great way to incorporate this project into your community! Great ideas! Good luck in the competition!