Hi! I'm Todd Cleeland - a primary school teacher at Cowes Primary School just south of Melbourne, Australia. We have approximately 580 students. I teach S.T.E.M. across all year levels from P-6. We recently purchased a 3D printer through a school fundraiser and I currently run an elective 3D printing class with grade 5 and 6 students.
How my Students use 3D Printing
Since purchasing our 3D printer I have always been looking for purposeful ideas for students to design and 3D print different objects. When 3D printing, our students are encouraged to employ the mindset that we can use 3D printing to assist or benefit ourselves or others. Printlab have some excellent resources to support that with easy to follow tutorials, portfolios or examples. Our students currently meet once a week and work on a range of different projects using Tinkercad and Printlab.
The Importance of 3D Printing in Education
3D printing is going to play a huge role in our future and is probably only in it's beginning stages of education. The fact that students are now learning the basics of design, the design process and problem solving skills is exciting. If we can then tap into their creative and imaginative minds, who knows where it will lead them and what they will be able to achieve, create or whose lives they will be able to change in our future.
Go to PrintLab Classroom
My Thoughts on PrintLab Classroom
Printlab is a great resource for teachers and students. Firstly, most projects come with portfolio for teachers and students to follow which mean minimal preparation. Lessons are well structured and provide video tutorials. I've found students are always engaged in lessons and it provides plenty of opportunities to challenge the students thinking.
My Advice for Teachers Getting Started with 3D Printing
Don't be afraid, allow students to be creative and learn with them. If you are only starting out, start basic. Keyrings or nametags are easy and fun ways to get students started. Have a look at the different projects on Printlab which all offer video tutorials and can really be adapted to suit differing skill levels or experiences. We also found the tutorials on how to use Tinkercad a great place to start. Most of all have fun with it.
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