This video doesn’t have great production quality. It doesn’t have the coolest objects ever 3D printed. It’s not teaching any 3D printing skills. So why include it here in 3DPrinter.net? Because watching what one teacher has done to inspire and educate her 14-15 year old students is deserving of giving her props.Lesa Childers, the tech-savvy teacher at the Notre Dame de Sion School of Kansas City is utilizing her Makergear Mosaic 3D printer in her classroom in order to teach her students about 3D modeling and 3D printing. Judging from the excitement of the girls in the video, it’s a hit. Just look at how much fun her students are having designing objects in Google SketchUp and then seeing their finished designs 3D printed and placed in the (3D printed) castle. But more than having fun, look at what they are learning to do.
For this particular 3D printing project, Childers 3D printed a Castle she found on Thingiverse, and then assigned her students the task of 3D modeling small items of furniture they could then print on the Mosaic and then set into the castle. She gave various criteria as to the size, and watching out for material overhangs. She also create several video tutorials for getting up to speed on using SketchUp (first one here).
I certainly wish my two kids had a teacher like Mrs. Childers in their middle or high school. It wasn’t that long ago, and while I know there is no way there would be anyone teaching 3D printing then, I do recall that most teachers in their schools were rather technology illiterate. Nor did they seem to care to learn. I saw banks of computers in “tech labs” that were used primarily for teaching Word. Of course, I’m generalizing — there are fabulous, inspiring teachers to be found in all schools, both public and private. But too few.
The thing that warmed my heart about this particular teacher is that she’s likely a not very highly-paid teacher, in a private school in Missouri, I can only assume without government grants, who — if I understand the story right — brought into class for the project her own 3D printer, and is simply on fire about teaching kids the technology of the future. A look around her blog and and snooping around on the internet confirmed to me her passion and initiative.
Mrs. Childers: thank you. Thank you for offering some hope for educating America’s children.
If you’d like to learn more about Childers and her class, she maintains a site as a service for the Sion community and Sion’s tech lab students. Here you can find resources, what’s happening in class, discussions, links, feeds, and musings on what’s new in the tech world. You should stop by and give her your encouragement.
Let’s pass this story around, and hopefully it will inspire other teachers and schools.
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