ETA Hand2Mind

You Can Count on Rekenreks

Saturday, April 29, 2017

STEM Learning and 3D Printing

My students and their 3rd grade buddies worked on solving real life problems using the engineering and design process.  Some were wishing to help homeless, some to help animals, and some wanted to help citizens get in contact with the government faster.  They worked as teams to come up with the designs.  They drew their ideas on graph paper and changed the designs after discussions about its effectiveness.

Then, the students were able to take their designs and turn them into 3 dimensional creations using gears, K'Nex, magnetic blocks, etc.  I took pictures of the creations and had the students explain their vision to me.

Next, the student group creations were 3D printed by my husband and myself.  Click on the first picture below to see a short video on it printing.

When the prints were complete, I brought them to school for the groups to see.  They had a good time seeing how they turned out.  We had discussions about whether it looked like what they imagined and how they could have better explained or been more detailed in their design to assist the 3D printing process.

The students then completed an Engineering and Design process rubric.  They were very honest and one of the areas that many of them felt they needed continued work on was "I cooperated with others."  
I used the resource below from Kristin Jones of Elementary Inquiry.
Engineering and Design Process Rubric and Student Self Eva 
Our next and final step will be to have the students present their ideas to other students and write an advertisement for their invention.  Then we will display the creations in the school for others to see.

With May almost here...we are gearing up for our 3rd annual STEM Festival.  My class still has a lot of work to do on our project and it will absorb a lot of our class time until it gets done.  I will post about it when it is complete.  
May your end of year festivities be awesome!