Have you heard the story about the middle school teacher in Wisconsin who helped to save the life of a duck by making it prosthetic feet or maybe you've heard about the 6th grade students making prosthetic hand a classmate.
While printing prosthetics may seem unusual, there is no doubt that 3D printing technology can revolutionize problem solving for teachers and students of any age. For example, consider how this Assistive Technology Specialist in Sonoma used 3D printing to design solution specifics to the needs of a student he was helping:
By using Design Thinking strategies and guiding students to empathize with end users and define problems, teachers can turn things over to students to problem solve. With a simple design process like ICE (Imagine, Create, Evaluate), even elementary aged students can successfully imagine and design solutions.
How can you organize student work?Consider guiding students through an exercise in 3D printing using tools like Digital Interactive Notebooks built using tools like PowerPoint or Google Slides. Interactive notebooks, depending on the age of the students, allow you to structure learning so that students can develop a sense of empathy as they work towards defining the problem or need and the constraints that go along with that need. It also provides time for checkpoints and evaluation.
Check out the examples below: