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.


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.

Admin Retreat Presentations

I had the opportunity to present and co-present at the Admin Retreat this year on two topics: Augmented Reality and Engineering and Design Thinking.

Admin Retreat
Here are the presentations below:


And the handouts that go with them:

Augmented Reality

Engineering and Design Thinking

Professional Development in your PJs!

Professional Development in PJs

***NOTE — This information is for Roanoke County Teachers ONLY!***

Want to earn Professional Development points from the comfort of your own home?  Want to learn more about the new ActivBoard software, ActiVotes, or ActivExpressions?  Great news!  Roanoke County has approved the following webinars on Promethean Planet for Professional Development points:


To view the upcoming Webinars, use this link.

If you’ve never participated in a Webinar before, it’s easy!  All you will need is a phone (to hear the presenter and ask questions yourself) and a computer.  After you register, you’ll be given step by step directions on how to participate.   Don’t forget to complete the prerequisite course ahead of time!

There are some things to remember:

  • You must have a Promethean Planet account.
  • Prior to participating in any webinar, you will need to complete online tutorials.  These tutorials are referred to as a “course” for each webinar.  At the end of each “course” there is an assessment to take. Once the assessment has been passed, youcan request a “transcript”.  This documentation is necessary in order to receive points for the webinar.  We will also need verification that you participated in the webinar.
  • A link to the prerequisites is included in the description of each webinar. You must be logged in to Promethean Planet to navigate to the prerequisites.
  •  The Level 1 skills webinar is not included for points because the prerequisite for it costs $29.95. 

This opportunity is a great way to learn more about ActivInspire and earn Professional Development points.  Please let me know if you have any questions!!

Image: ‘Day 6/365