MassCUE Grant Funding in Action
Creating 3D from a 2D World
by Jane Kent
“I myself am made entirely of flaws, stitched together with good intentions.” I am not sure who first made this quote but it fits my journey.
At MassCUE, I stumbled upon the 3Doodler table and was enthralled by a 3D heated pen that allowed students to handle it without harming their fingers. I knew I wanted to get these pens for my students. Reaching out to all MassCUE had to offer, I applied for a classroom grant.
After the gracious approval for my MassCUe Classroom Grant application, I jumped right off to order almost $3000 of tools and materials from 3Doodler. The supply chain and the business office created several weeks of delays. Finally everything came together. The boxes arrived with what we needed to get started on moving forward creating 3D from a 2D world.
The concept for the grant is to have students in grades K-5 learn how to create objects that they usually draw and design them to be 3-dimensional objects using the 3Doodler pens. The lessons I created begin with simple designs for the kindergartners to the fifth grade students making more complex designs. The older grades would then create a group model using our one 3D printer. We were successful throughout the grade levels to create all of the plans for the 3Doodler projects, but the ability to get our 3D printer portion was halted by the end of year events. Time just ran out on us.
- Kindergartners- Emoji face necklaces; Bubble Wands (a shout out to one of those table presentations from MassCUE)
- First Grade- Leaf necklaces; Eyeglasses
- Second Grade- Fossils; Archeological tools
- Third Grade- Sundial; Numbered Dice
- Fourth Grade- Mini-bridge; 3D print- group project to a bridge for animals over a road.
- Fifth Grade- Birdhouse that can hold seed; 3D print- group project to create life-size birdhouse.
Durability of the 3Doodlers did come into play. Six classes and six different grade levels a day (approx. 800 students) for about 4-5 weeks does test the durability of any technology tool. I have learned a few tricks on how to get a stubborn 3Doodler to work. The 3Doodlers are currently under warranty and I did return 3 of them to be replaced quickly by the company. I have a few I need to examine again as they were causing a problem here and there, but I leave that for a rainy summer day when I can go back to my classroom and test them out.
My first professional change to my plan will be to move this portion of my curriculum back into the school year. Begin in February, plan out enough weeks so all of the projects can be completed. My second lesson going forward is to make sure I purchase enough plastic rods. I bought quite a bit with the grant and have enough to move forward with next year. I did put in a supplemental order with our school supplies. My third professional lesson was that I needed more equipment and supplies than I originally thought to execute the whole grant. Supplies such as extension cords to reach all of my tables, USB hubs to charge the pens, and boxes, sand, and string to add to some of the projects. I will need to be mindful year to year.
My professional well-you-did-that-right moment was giving all of the grade levels a day to play with the 3Doodler pens. This play-day did use up a lot of plastic rods, but the students learned how to manipulate the heated plastic, learned that they could not get harmed with the tools, learned to respect the materials, and learned that no matter how many mistakes you make you DO end up making your own creation.
The students were disappointed that I had to end it for the last week of school. They continuously made me promise that we would be doing this again in the next school year. Our overall experience has been a very positive one. The students and I have learned that charging whenever possible is important. We learned that we can be off devices and still use technology tools to have fun. We learned that our projects do not have to be the same. We learned that we can easily turn our failed projects into beautiful designs. We learned that Mrs. Kent will let us take our creations home.
I am grateful for MassCUE’s confidence and support in my project. I will pay-back MassCUE’s generosity by presenting my journey at one of the smaller tables, with samples and hands-on practice at the next MassCUE Conference in the fall. I look forward to showing you in person.
Jane Kent is a Technology Teacher/Library Media Specialist at the Carver Elementary School in Carver, MA.Print this post