Many schools across the United States go on field trips to Washington D.C. The students on these trips always buy random souvenirs that they quickly grow out of or ruin. So why not lead up to the trip in class with a project that will create memories for the students?
In the weeks leading up to the trip, grab a copy of the itinerary and have students do research on what they will visit and recreate it on the 3D printer!
Overview and Background
This project moves beyond looking at pictures on the internet or textbook of monuments in Washington D.C. Students are able to manipulate and create (and may even find a passion for architecture), all while learning the purpose of monuments in our nation's capital.
Lesson Plan and Activity
Supplementary materials are classroom and instructor supplied equipment, including the online TinkerCAD account.
If students will be going on a trip to Washington D.C., begin with discussing the itinerary for the trip. Having a slideshow made to display the monuments is beneficial, but the teacher can do a quick image search to show each monument while discussing the trip.
Split students into small groups, assigning a monument to teach the group. These groups will be researching the history and purpose behind the monument.
Allow students the opportunity to create a presentation on the information they have researched in their own manner. Students may wish to create slideshows, movies, posters, etc. Allow the students their own choice.
After the research has been done, the groups will then be tasked with creating their monuments in TinkerCAD. Some monuments will be easier than others. It is suggested that the teacher demonstrates how to use TinkerCAD by creating the Washington Monument. Creating a cube, stretching the dimensions, followed by adding a pyramid on top is a simple way to introduce TinkerCAD if students have not used the program before.
One class period should be sufficient for students to recreate their monument, depending on the detail the teacher wishes to be included.
After the files have been created, students should export the file and send to the teacher how they would like. An easy way to accomplish this is using Google Classroom or Google Drive. Once the files have been collected, the teacher should begin the printing process.
Take the prints on the trip to Washington D.C.. Have the students take their picture in front of their monument with their printed version.
Have students take their files they have created in TinkerCAD and upload into CoSpaces. Students then create the actual environment surrounding their monument and include a voiceover explaining the history and area in which the monument stands. The entire class will then be able to experience the monument through CoSpaces Virtual Reality, walking around the monument without ever leaving the classroom!
Things to consider:
Time to print. If the teacher does not set size restrictions, printing could take a very long time.
If students have not used TinkerCAD before, ensure that they export their entire file and not just one shape.
Transporting; some prints may be very fragile. Give careful consideration to how the prints will be transported.
3D Printer, Filament, Laptop/Desktop/Chromebook, TinkerCAD Account