I was recently contacted by a high school in Texas regarding some 3dprinting advice. This was through my linkedin profile and on the back of winning the 3dprintshow education excellence award. This was a proud moment that a school thousands of miles away wanted some advice in introducing 3dprinting into the classroom. After a few months of experimenting with 3dprinters, Javier Saavedra had successfully exposed high school students to this amazing technology with some really good results. Ones that I feel I need to share, as for technology teachers this is a great way to introduce the new technology beyond design and into STEM areas. Javier explains;
Second Baptist School geometry students set out to blend their skills in 3-D printing and math to create their very first object from the 3-D printer. Mr. Javier Saavedra, Global Technology Specialist, and Mrs. Patti Otwell, geometry teacher, joined forces to teach a lesson that combined design software, spatial reasoning and math.
The first task on hand was to find measurements from a blueprint of an object drawn on the board with the basic dimensions provided. Students calculated measurements, coordinates and the positioning of independent structures. They then inputted their data into a 3D software and submitted their files to print their objects.
To test the accuracy of their measurements, Mr. Saavedra created a “negative” model of the “positive” shape the students made. The grade for the project was determined on how accurately each student’s model fit into the “negative” model; a perfect fit, a perfect score!
Mr. Saavedra said that most student models fit perfectly and the ultimate goal of the project was to, “teach the next generation the necessary 3-D design skills to succeed in their future careers while applying their knowledge acquired in mathematics, geometry, science and beyond.”
This project and way of introducing students to 3dprinting gets the thumbs up from me! Teach them the basics of CAD and then let the students apply their knowledge to a given task. The more accurate the outcome the higher the mark, the less accurate the outcome the mark is reduced. The prints are small so they will be quick and easy to make so time would not be a big issue here. You could also really make it more demanding and give students a tougher task after this project… Design a container to hold a given amount of fluid. The students would then have to design their own hollowed out shape/container and use their maths skills to calculate the volume. The closest design that holds just the given amount of fluid would gain the top marks!
Second Baptist School in Houston, well done I like this project!
By Philip Cotton