3D Printing in the STEM Lab

Herman L. Horn Makerbot 3D Printer

Students and teachers have been trying out the two new Makerbot Sketch 3D printers in the Herman L. Horn STEM Lab. During three MakerMonday workshops, student participants studied how 3D printers worked, learned to use Tinkercad, and designed their own creations. Tinkercad is a free online collection of software tools that help people all over the world think, create and make. The skills students learn using this tool will transfer to more robust programs when they are older, such as Autocad or Fusion 360.

Tinkercad

After learning how to navigate Tinkercad, students created their first project – nametag keychains. Then they learned to import images to create pencil toppers (or just their own personal statues) of various animals and sports icons. As their final project, students designed and printed their own mazes. So fun!

Marble Mazes

During Professional Development time, teachers received short, basic training on how to manage using Tinkercad and the 3D Printers with their students. The goal at Herman L. Horn is to get students exposed to designing in 3D and the idea of 3D printing at an early age…before they are tracked into career paths in secondary school. Teachers were encouraged to have their students DESIGN and CREATE the objects that are printed in the lab rather than downloading pre-made objects for printing. In this type of project, planning is key for both the teacher and the students.

Teachers were given an overview of how 3D printing will work in the STEM Lab.

Next, the group brainstormed ideas for 3D printing that meet core standards in Virginia.

And finally, teachers had the optional opportunity to try to design their own keyring for printing.

Over the coming weeks, the 3D printers will be working hard as teachers and students begin incorporating 3D design activities into their lessons.

What’s for Dinner Stop Motion

Mrs. Corbett’s class created stop motion videos to demonstrate their understanding of food chains and webs in various habitats/biomes. Check them out below!

All Videos

North American Forest

Desert

Savanna

Arctic

Ocean

Rainforest

Students also reflected on their creations and on the Breakout Edu game they played in class.  Check it out here:
FlipGrid Reflections 

Cross posted on the Oak Grove Digital Archive.

Light Up Mother’s Day Cards

  • “You light up my life!”
  • “You light up my heart!”
  • “You are the light of my life.”
  • “You make my day shine!”
  • “You make me shine!”
  • “You light my way.”
  • “You shine like a star.”
  • “You are my shining star.”

These are just a few of the sayings second graders used on their light up Mother’s Day cards!

We used paper circuits from Chibitronics to create the circuits behind a shape in the inside of their cards.

 

Then they poked holes in the shape to help light shine through and came up with catchy sayings for Mother’s Day.  I was so impressed with their creativity and they were so proud of their cards. Take a look at some of them below:

 

See more of the cards on the Glenvar Digital Archive.

Cross Posted at the Learning Collaboratory.

Robotic Fraction, Decimals, and Percentages

I just posted a lesson I’ve used with various 5th grade classes as they were studying fractions and decimals.  We used the Lego EV3 robots, and were able to complete the activity in an hour.

Here’s how the activity works.  Using a LEGO® MINDSTORMS® EV3 robot and a touch sensor, each group of students inputs a fraction. Then they convert the fraction into a decimal and a percentage using hand calculations, and double check their work using the EV3 robot. They observe the robot moving forward and record the distance it moves. Students learn that the distance moved is a fraction of the full distance, based on the fraction that they input. For instance, if they input ½, the robot moves half of the original distance. Using this information, students work backwards to compute the full distance. Groups then are challenged to move the robot as close as possible to a target distance by inputting a fraction into the EV3 bot. Four different challenges of increasing difficulty are available in this lesson. Most students complete 2 within an hour, but the extra are included for students who master the concepts quickly.

The kids had a blast with this lesson and were fully engaged.  I love how it really makes them think about fractions in a real sense, and that they have to draw on their understanding to figure out the challenges.

If you have access to EV3 robots and want to try the lesson, you can get it here:

EV3

 

First Grade Force and Motion in the Makerspace

Students in first grade at both Glenvar and Oak Grove used the Makerspace to build hands-on knowledge of force and motion.  They rotated through six centers to investigate and understand Science SOL 1.2:  The student will investigate and understand that moving objects exhibit different kinds of motion. Key concepts include a) objects may have straight, circular, and back-and-forth motions; b) objects may vibrate and produce sound; and c) pushes or pulls can change the movement of an object that moving objects exhibit different kinds of motion.

Maker Center Planning Sheet and Student Reflection

Center 1: Spinning Tops — Circular motion and elapsed time

Prompt: Make a spinning top.  How long does it spin?

Center 2: Air Tube

Make something that will fly.

Center 3: Zipline – pushes and pulls/ straight and circular motion

Design a car that can carry a toy dragon across the room on a zipline.  Explore ways to make the car move smoother and faster.

img_0083

Center 4: Musical Instrument – Vibration

Create a musical instrument with rubber bands.  Find ways to include higher and lower pitched notes on your instrument.

Center 5:  Racetracks

Build a racetrack.  Experiment with different types of cars, marbles, and balls.  Which ones go faster?  Slower?  Why?

Center 6: Robots On the Move

Make Dash the Robot Move!

 Cross Posted at the Learning Collaboratory.