Friday, March 30, 2018

March 30 - 3D printing as part of cross-curricular project based learning





I love that the last day of the March is for Making Series (30 blog post in 30 days to inspire us to keep on making)  coincides with one of  my favorite examples of creating, making, and learning -  the annual 3D Vermont event! 




Learning from each other



For the past four years,  a large floor map of Vermont is rolled out on the floor of JUDD gymnasium at Vermont Technical College as the culminating event in the 3D Vermont project.  Teams of middle school and high school students place 3D printed models that they have created (to scale) of historic buildings at various locations on the map!  They then proceed to stations around the gym where they share their research about each of historical locations they have researched as part of this project.    Guest and judges circulate around the room listening to each team share what they learned while researching and modeling historic buildings in 3D.







Video Tour of the Floor Map


Each year I am blown away by the skills that these young students display!  This event is filled with evidence of learning ranging from research skills, communication skills, mathematical skills, design skills,  technical skill, collaboration skills, and  more.











This year's group of students designed their models using a variety of different tools including TinkerCad,  SketchUp, Fusion 360 and SolidWorks.  Here's a short video tour of some of the buildings that the students shared.


A close up look of some of the models.


Students used a variety of different tools (both analog and digital) to get accurate measurements to model their building to scale. 


Taking measurements with digital technology.
Applying our math skills!

Students took care to replicate not only the buildings but also the portions of the environments that were part of the historical narrative. 

The story behind the boat and the bridge and its ghost!



Using 3D finishing techniques to put our building into context. 




Many of the students also modeled the contents found in some of their building.

A telescope 


Taxidermy artifacts located in the museum

And it did not take long for anyone listening to these students to realize that this is NOT a competition about your ability to create a 3D model! As you can see from this video,   this project is  about the the integrated learning that occurs when students communicate what they are learning through a combination of tools and processes that lead to hands on- minds on learning!


Amazing evidence of cross disciplinary learning.





Evidence of students's research ranged from brochures, posters, photo albums, and  Google Slide such as these Google Slides shows

to extensive websites such as this one from the award winning team from Windsor high school  http://www.windsor3dprinting.com/

to carefully matted photos and primary document replicas



to actual historical artifacts.





One school even included a VR (virtual reality) tour!  



The competition started with a project that Mike Hathorn from Hartford High School designed for his high school history class. Student researched historic buildings in their town of Hartford, Vermont and shared their research by creating a presentation about the building historical significance along with a 3D printed model of the buildings that they designed. Over the past few years the concept has expanded to include middle schools and high schools from around Vermont!






 Mike Hathorn on the origins of 3D Vermont


And this year's winners....
Middle School Division


3rd place  Mater Christi Middle School









2nd place - St. Albans City and Town School




1st place - Castleton School







High School Division


Honorable mention ~ Montpelier High School




Second Place ~  Enosburg Falls High School




First Place  ~ Windsor High School






Past Winners



Additional media clips from 3D Vermont 2018