Background Image

techdirections May 2017 : Page 24

In contrast to the speed with printing could be better used in which kids create in BlocksCAD, the schools, staff at the nonprofit Tech-3D printing process is glacial. At Ein-nical Education Research Centers stein’s Workshop, they like to keep (TERC) test-drove BlocksCAD and designs to a scale that can be printed several other 3D-in 45 minutes, which Green explained design tools. as “about the size of a cupcake.” “I was re-Still, the physical product is ally taken with important, said Josh Gold, a middle-BlocksCAD. It was school math teacher on Hanscom Air just fun,” said Force Base in Bedford, Massachu-Lisa Miller, the setts, whose students used algebra in TERC researcher their BlocksCAD designs for a model co-leading the space station. It’s a great motivator, study. “I’d come said Gold, “and if the student has into work and made something tangible, and they start designing bring it home to show it off, then little structures. maybe there’ll be a conversation Then, I’d look up about math around the dinner table.” and say, my God, Up next for the BlocksCAD four hours have developers is creating CAD-infused passed!” Adam Green, an instructor at Einstein’s workshop, lesson plans linked to specific topics The BlocksCAD shows 3D printers to students learning BlocksCAD, a and standards in math, computer software includes free 3D-design software developed at the workshop. science, physics and other aca-several sample demic subjects. “We want to make projects, complete with all the cod-just combining shapes, and then they this useful and relevant for class-ing behind them, and there’s a brief, can start making more complicated, how-to slideshow mathematical designs,” Yoder said, on the BlocksCAD noting the more advanced command website. blocks for equations and “if this, then Einstein’s Work-that” conditional logic. shop also offers edu-Even among the CAD novices cators a four-hour at Einstein’s Workshop, there was training, which the plenty of variation. The instructor, teachers in Hudson, Adam Green, led a tutorial in which Ohio, completed in students built a caterpillar with February 2016, even spheres side by side along the X axis. though their school Some of the kids dutifully followed did not yet have a Green’s instructions, while others 3D printer. After de-jumped ahead. signing their amuse-“Can we change the Z in one to ment-park rides, the make it go up and down?” asked nine-Hudson students year old Mark Parr. Adam Green points out the positive and negative sent their files to “We will in a second,” answered quadrants along each axis while leading a 3D design INVENTORCloud, a Green, who then hooked together tutorial in which students design their own chairs. program run by the three long, colored sticks to give a nonprofit Advanced quick a lesson in X, Y, Z coordinates, room teachers,” said Menashi. Methods in Innovation, which offers including the negative numbers along “That’s a front-burner item for us schools remote access to a suite of 3D each axis. right now.” printers and other digitally-controlled A bit later, 11-year old Caitlin Lian, fabrication equipment. asked, “Can we 3D-print a Rubik’s “Teachers tend to be linear think-Cube?” as she fiddled with a Rubik’s ers, as in, ‘I’m going to give you steps Cube while waiting for her class-For Additional information for how to do something.’ But when mates to catch up in the caterpillar you’re working with CAD you don’t tutorial. think that way,” said Hudson’s curric-“Actually, we get that question a ulum coordinator, Christina Wooley lot,” Green said. “You could print the who oversaw the training. “The kids parts, but not a complete, working figured that out perhaps faster than Rubik’s Cube.” stormlab/ we did.” For an ongoing study of how 3D third grade, when kids have a grasp of basic math and measuring in three dimensions. “They can start very simple, by Photos by Chris Berdik 24 tech directions ◆ May 2017

Previous Page  Next Page

Publication List
Using a screen reader? Click Here