PrintLab Partners

STEAM Facilitator

Tinkercad Advisory Team Member

About Myself

While working in Chicago I taught 3D modeling, circuits, and various other skills at the elementary and middle school level while working as an Instructional Technology Specialist. After doing that for five years I accepted a position at L.J. Hauser Junior High in Riverside as a STEAM Facilitator. Recently, I moved to Virginia and accepted a position to become an Instructional Technology Coordinator at Arlington Public Schools.

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How my Students use 3D Printing

My focus is 6th through 8th grade and 3D printing and design is a large part of most of the classes I teach. However, 3D printing is not taught in isolation. Introducing students to the engineering design process, design thinking, and a structured critique process has been paramount. I help students learn how to gain empathy for others and use that to drive their method for creating solutions to different problems.

The Importance of Young People Learning about 3D Printing

Being able to work through a problem, iterate, and develop a solution that meets a specific need is an invaluable experience at any grade. Designing precise 3D models intended for 3D printing helps students develop the ability to persevere. As educators, that is what we want. Students shouldn’t give up when they get challenged.

My Thoughts on PrintLab Classroom Curriculum

I decided this school year that I wanted to supplement the curriculum that I created and have been teaching the last few years. This year I am trying some smaller projects with my 8th graders and I decided to try out what PrintLab had to offer. So far, I’ve adapted a version of the bottle opener lesson and we are currently working on the wrench. The projects that we are doing involving those lessons have gone well and the students are having fun. I really like that the curriculum is already aligned to standards.

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My Thoughts on the Future of 3D Printing in Education

I think the possibilities are endless. As students start getting more access to 3D printing earlier, what they can accomplish by the time they reach high school is limitless. Young people are very capable of becoming inventors now. They have the skills and desire to solve real world problems, they just need reliable tools and the right support. As access and knowledge continue to spread, I think it will drive companies to meet the needs of innovative educators and students everywhere.

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