Craigburn Primary School recently received two 3D printers through a DECD initiative to see increased uses of technology in schools through STEM learning challenges. We are using the Maker’s Empire computer software and iPad app to create our designs, compete in online design competitions, view other peoples designs and view tutorials to help us improve the quality of our designs and different ways to use all of the features of the app.
So, what are the benefits of using 3D software designs and printing as a part of our learning?
- Creating inventors of new designs and innovations that have applications all over the world.
- Engaging ALL learners. Every student is a creating, collaborating, communicating and using critical thinking strategies.
- Creating responsible digital citizens. We are working with a growing online community dedicated to 3D printing and we need to make comments or like people’s work in a respectful and responsible manner.
- Bringing Art back! We are already powering ahead with STEAM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, together with art) education challenges, 3D printing will help catapult it to the top. With 3D printing students become designers and creators using cutting edge technology to visualize and create their own imaginations.
- Making everything hands on. We are linking our 3D printing to our current Inquiry units or Play to make our 3D projects purposeful and connected to our everyday classroom learning, eg Inquiry units about structures.
- Building school camaraderie. Our 3D printing projects have just begun but we’re already working with different classes and students around the school.
- Solving real world problems. 3D printing is a technology that scientists and engineers are using to change the world. Put that same technology into the hands of our students and introduce them to some of the challenges facing our community. They will learn empathy, teamwork, and problem solving as we set them loose on a real world problem.
- BONUS: becoming the coolest school – you can’t deny that 3D printing is amazing! It gives us a tiny manufacturing plant right inside Craigburn Primary School, where our students can bring their imaginations to life.
To get us started with this project Lisa Sporn and Andrea Grant attended a training day to learn how to use the Maker’s Empire app and software, plus implement this project across the entire school. They have worked very closely with Travis Nuske, the school IT techie, to get the programme started.
The year 2 class has completed a number of class challenges and have made hundreds of designs during STEAM time, Genius Hour sessions and any moment of spare time they’ve got. They’ve also begun to teach the other classes in our unit, sharing their tips and tricks to get them designing too. The Year 6/7 class has also heavily involved in the design process.
Lisa and Andrea will be hosting a Techie Brekkie for all staff this Friday to encourage colleagues to set up their class accounts and get them designing too.
Lisa, Andrea and a group of students will be attending a showcase day at Grange Primary School on 16th June to show our progress and see what other schools are doing as a part of this project. Stay tuned for future updates.