Monday, March 30, 2015

3D Printing

When it first arrived, I was terrified. I had never used a 3D printer before and I was worried I would break it. That didn't happen, I became more comfortable with it the more I used it. It reminds me a lot of the microwave when they first came out. Everyone wanted one and couldn't live with out it once it became a part of ones life.

Now I want my students and fellow teachers to become comfortable with this new technology. I want students to use this resource as a means to invent and create. Tinkercad is a free-online program that allows students to take lessons and create their own inventions. It's best if parents set up their child's account because they need to verify their child's account. If a parent doesn't verify the child's account the account will not last more than 10 days.


I have seen students create some amazing things using Tinkercad, a Makerbot 3D printer, and their imagination.This project was created using the student's imagination and Tinkercad. It took her an hour to design the project on Tinkercad and more than 2 hours to print on the Makerbot. I thought it was going to take lots of filament to print this design, but it didn't. She was pleased with her work and so was everyone else.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Creating a Makerspace

I can't believe less than a year ago I didn't know what a makerspace was or had a thought about creating one. I'm still in the process of creating one and it will most likely take a few years before it's set up like the space I envision. So, far our makerspace offers...

  • 3D Printer 
  • Computers 
  • Lego Robotics 
  • Sphero 
  • Kinex 
  • Magnetic Tiles 
  • Zoob Pieces 
  • And lots of books and databases... 

 All of these resources allow me to offer stations during alternative recess and during our makerspace club meetings. The first week we worked on coding, since a lot of the resources rely on the student knowing how to code. 


Week One Feb. 9 - Feb. 11
To learn more about computer coding visit www.code.org click on elementary courses and your child can take a self-paced 20 hour on-line course for free. Once your child has completed the course visit scratch.mit.edu to learn more advanced skills on computer coding. It will be important for your child to know coding to utilize the Raspberrypi computers, Sphero ball, and other resources the makerspace offers.

Our Makerbot 3D printer arrived on campus the second week this space was opened, so I decided to dive right into teaching the students about 3D printing.
Brainpop offers a great lesson to introduce 3D printing. 

During week 3 students had a chance to create something useful or creative out of straw creations.

The creations and inventions were varied and interesting. 



During week 4 students were given 6 task they need to complete to create a 3D print. 

Steps to 3D printing 

1.   Go to www.tinkercad.com (Tinkercad Website)
2.   Register for a free account.
3.   Complete the four tutorial lessons
4.   Bring a screen print to the library showing you’ve completed each lesson or show the librarian accessing your account on-line in the library.
5.   Create an original design using Tinkercad (3d prints will need to be about the size of a chess piece.)

6.   Once all steps have been completed you can see your design printed on the 3D printer. 

So, that's it so far, we just finished our first month of the makerspace. We are still at the beginning stages, but we are at the beginning of something special.