Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Design for the Holidays with @DremelEdu #MakerEd

As a Dremel Idea Builder Ambassador, I love coming up with fun and different 3D based projects. The holiday season has always been a time for young students to create gifts and beautiful projects at school to take home or decorate the classroom. While there is still plenty of great things that can be done with construction paper and glue sticks, having students work with 3D Design software and the Dremel 3D40 can bring an extra touch to the holiday season. Here are some fun examples you can bring to your classroom:

  • Ask students to work in groups and design their own holiday/Winter scenes. They can design snowman, candy canes, snowflakes, and so much more. This is a perfect project to help students work on planning and collaborating with peers to create one cohesive project.
  • Set up a fun Secret Gift Exchange in class. Students can pull names from a hat that have something they would like to have designed and made for them. Students will put their own spin and interpretation on the request and give the present to the student before the holiday break.
  • Gifts for friends and family at home. This is just a fun opportunity to give students a chance to design something for the home. Maybe it is an ornament for a tree or a just a gift to say “Happy Holidays”.

What is great about these projects is that they help students work on their collaboration skills and the design process. The more time students can have working with others and trying to plan and execute ideas, the more comfortable they will be later in life. As a teacher, it is key to have students work with others, brainstorm, problem solve, compromise, and see their plan executed. These soft skills come in handy throughout their life in school and their future careers.

Guiding students through the design process will help them for future projects, but other areas of learning as well. A student needs to design their essays and their solutions to complex experiments in Science. The entire process is replicated over and over again in many different content areas and students will be better prepared to to tackle more complex issues later in life if they learn the process at an early age.

The beauty of 3D design is that it allows for students to work with shapes to create great items. Working with shapes and understanding how different shapes can come together to create objects is a cool way for students to deconstruct the world around them and build it back up in a digital format. The students will also be able to work with basic measurement in the design process as well as the final product. Students will need to measure and draw prototypes so they can see what their final print job might look like if the sizes are correct. Understanding spatial size is a nice skill for students as they get older and need to make purchases for their own spaces. Seeing how that all comes together using Geometry and measurements in small 3D design projects.

Whenever you have a chance for students to work in the 3D world to create amazing items from their own imagination, students will learn valuable skills and that is why having a Dremel 3D40 can offer so much to a classroom and school. The more you use it with students, the more students can grow in their content areas as well as the “soft skill” areas. I hope everyone has asked for a new printer this Holiday Season.

Here are some pictures of a design my son made that I printed for him to give to a family friend. Note: I stopped the print when it got to the lettering and replaced the filament so I could have red lettering and center to the flower. It was easy and it adds a nice touch.

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