In November, we opened up our brand new 3D printer, Makerbot Replicator+, and began the process of learning how to print. The process of learning how to print was centered around learning to design in the web app Tinkercad, and learning how to manage the print jobs in the Makerbot print application. I really needed to be a students myself before becoming a teacher. I used trial and error to discover the ins and outs of the process. I had quite a few failed print jobs, but slowly I began to have some success.
Once I figured it out, I then began to put on my teacher hat and try to discover the best way to roll out this complicated task for our 5th graders. It was clear that work flow was going to be a big deal. Finally, yesterday I introduced Tinkercad to the first of four 5th grade classes. I introduced the Tinkercad work plane and tools. We discussed the importance of renaming their projects clearly so I would be able to managing all of the 3D print jobs once they sent them to me.
After the introduction, I asked students to go through a few introductory lessons in Tinkercad so they could learn how to use the design features.
Now students will spend the next few sessions designing. Stay tuned for the final projects!