Help us get funded!

Using 3D printing in education is unique in that whatever the student envisions can be replicated, revised and refined constantly. Students feel free to fail and make changes to improve their understanding.  Critical thinking skills are sharpened, as students have to figure out what worked and what needs improvement with their design.
As our students interact with technology the importance of allowing for on demand learning, individual exploration and creative approaches to traditional school work is very important to help our students become creative thinkers and problem solvers.
As the 3rd and 4th grade students and I talked about having a 3D printer this year, we got sidetracked a little with learning more about 3D doodle pens and all that we could do with them and even how they could enhance our 3D printing process.
If you have never seen one before, they basically take the parts of the 3D printer that melt and print the filament and shrink it down to fit it in your hand.  It's kind of like a hot glue gun with way more control.
We decided to check out the pens a little more and found that the company that designed the pen sells an education bundle with a pretty deep discount.  Since we used all of the grant money to purchase the 3D printer and supplies, I wrote a crowdfunding proposal to help us raise money using the website Indiegogo.  We are trying to raise $1100 to have a set of pens that can be shared with the Primary and the Intermediate building.  If we get more than that we can order pens as money allows and split the number of pens between buildings.  The great thing about funding on Indiegogo is that we can use any of the money raised towards the purchase of any number of pens and filament.
If you can help us out with any amount, please click on the link and view and support our campaign.  We have some pretty sweet rewards for people who help us get there!  Even if you can't help out and want to know more, go read our plan and find our more information.
If you haven't seen them in action before, watch the short video below to see what all we can do.

Why are we getting a 3D printer?



During the Intermediate School open house, I had a lot of parents ask about our 3D printer and what our plan is with it.  It's one of those items that most people say "It's a cool toy, but what can it really do?"  That's a fair question!  

I could be wrong in the end, but with the advancement of 3D printing technology and the price drops I think the placement of 3D printers in schools and homes will be as commonplace as having a regular printer.  Most likely by the time our students are ready for college places like Wal-Mart will sell 3D printers and the average person will have one in their house.  Instead of having to run to the store to get one item like a hook or a screw, students will be able to walk over to their computer and print a part or a tool in a short time.

There are printers that can print stainless steel, gold, chocolate and a myriad of other items. Our printer will print with PLA filament, which is made from a sugar derived from field corn and has a semisweet smell (they claim it smells like waffles) when it is heated.

I will attach my grant application here (at least the relevant parts) so you can read the full plan, but here are some snippets from it:


"Our students are growing up in what has been referred to as the next industrial revolution. Many of the children in elementary classrooms will solve problems and create technologies that we have not yet thought of, and they will be able to do so because of technologies like 3D printing.
Using 3D printing in education is unique that whatever the student envisions can be replicated, revised and refined constantly. Students feel free to fail and make changes to improve their understanding. Critical thinking skills are sharpened, as students have to figure out what worked and what needs improvement with their design."

School is all about preparing students for the real world and teaching them how to be good citizens. With a 3D printer, my students’ would be able to focus on imagination and creativity while removing the “what if?” question and replacing it with “why not?”

Read the full grant application here.

The 3d Craziness is coming!


In case you missed the last post, I was a recipient of a $5,000 grant to use towards the purchase of a 3D printer in our classroom!  The printer is on its way and we are super excited to start designing in 3D and learning how it works.

We were able to order a Makerbot Replicator 2, lots of filament, 2 year warranty and a slew of other things to help us get started.  Depending on just how much we print, the filament might be able to last us for 2-3 years too!

We will be using tinkercad.com to help us design and we have a pretty steep learning curve to manipulate objects in 3D, but we are excited for the challenge.

As we work through the design process, we will be posting pictures, resources and anything we can think of on this blog so keep tuned in to see what we can create!