Today we started our first lesson that includes 3-D printing!  I am very excited, and so are my students.  For this lesson, fourth graders are learning about ecosystems and the animals and insects that live there.  Students choose an ecosystem to research, and design a new insect for that place.  They have to complete a field journal with information about their ecosystem and their insect.  The final part of the project is to design the insect in Tinkercad and print it on the 3-D printer.

Click to view lesson.

Click to view lesson.

Today was the first time I ran this lesson, and so far so good.  We spent two hours on the first part: introducing ecosystems, discussion, and field journals, and wrapped up with some Tinkercad tutorials.  Next time we meet we’ll begin designing our insects.  I can’t wait to see how they turn out.

The kids had a blast designing in Tinkercad.  I warned them ahead of time that it was different than drawing in 2D, but that they just needed to take their time and be patient to learn it.  Most of them took to it right away, and the ones who didn’t were usually the ones who skipped through the directions on the tutorials.  So far, so good!

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