BY Joanne Harrington
Orleans Elementary School
In an effort to continue in our priority to maintain a strong 21st century community of learning and college readiness, both the STEM Lab and the school library have been working in collaboration to create a Makerspace 3-D station at Orleans Elementary School. We are seeking funding toward the purchase of a 3-D printer, which will be housed in the library and will be used to create prototypes designed by Grade 5 students during their STEM Lab classes utilizing the Tinkercad program. Having this 3-D printer will give students the opportunity to be technologically literate and engaged in science and engineering practices as outlined in the Next Generation Science Standards. The printer also will be an initial component of a larger Makerspace design.
How will the project be evaluated (e.g. how will you gauge its success)
The project will be assessed in part as it relates to the engineering design process, more specifically in the prototype step. Evidence of success will be the students’ completed prototypes which meet the design specifications of 3-D modeling and their own Computerized Aided Design (CAD). This project takes students through the steps of imagining a solution to a problem, then designing a solution through Tinkercad, and finally holding a tangible product that serves to solve the problem within a kid-friendly time frame.
Benefit to the students and the school
The 3-D printer will benefit the students and the school by meeting the Next Generation Science Standards as it relates to the science and engineering practices. This tool will enable students to complete projects that will prepare them for the rigors of the 21st Century technology learning expectations they will face in their schooling and beyond.
Timeline of Project (when will you do the project, if applicable)
In the first and second trimesters, Grade 5 students will learn Computerized Aided Design skills in STEM Lab classes. In the last trimester, the students will build their prototypes based on the designs they will create in Tinkercad and tangible products will be created using the 3-D printer. Remodeling and making improvements to their original designs will be the last step of the project, which students will complete by the end of their Grade 5 year.