Thursday, February 7, 2013

The power of making: 3-D printers

I was reading Unbored: The Power of 'Making' in the Classroom when I came across this:
The girls open their sketchbooks and doodle possible solutions. One toothbrush plays music. Another comes with a timer. Still another has a tiny TV embedded into the handle. One model grows larger as you brush and then gets smaller when the two minutes are up. 
The project takes several weeks and involves more than a few trips to the school's Fab Lab, a state-of-the art digital prototyping and manufacturing facility that Marymount started in 2011 to more thoroughly engage its students in math and science. It's here that they transfer their sketches to computer-automated drawings, which are then sent to the classroom's MakerBot, a 3-D printer that seems like it was plucked straight out of The Jetsons.
I immediately searched for MakerBot 3-D printer and came across this video:

When it comes to curriculum and lesson planning, my mantra is: students should be completing projects that are in a context and for a purpose.

What if every student had access to one of these printers at home or at school? How might school be more active, relevant and engaging?

1 comment:

  1. Joe, I had the opportunity to use these 3d printers at a summer science camp I worked at last summer (

    I have to admit it was incredible the things 7th and 8th grade students were able to produce. Mind you, they were at a summer camp and not being assessed and were free to do basically whatever they wanted.

    I think it could be a very powerful tool to have access to in each school. I'm sure I can't even start to imagine what kids could come up with if we gave them the opportunity to use it.

    Also check out the "homemade" 3d printer that I was at the NCTM conference in St Louis last year. It's pretty neat.


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