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3D printers invite curiosity and inventive thinking

students show off some of the designs they printed. Anusha Gondi, Alex Kappos (holding Andrew Cruz' 3D cup), Madihah Sait, Jayden Starke. bottom row: Daniel Neuman, Isabelle Bay, Xavier Gorman
Thanks to the generosity of a local company, 3D Systems Corporation, two Cube 3D printers were recently donated to Marvin Ridge Middle School.

To initiate the use of the printers, Brita Mann, the media coordinator of MRMS offered a "design challenge" to students. The challenge was to use a CAD software program to create a 3D design of an object that a teacher could use in their classroom.  Since the design challenge was issued in early May, the printers have been working non-stop to create student designs.

"This is a great example of authentic learning and individual problem solving, said Brita Mann.  The design challenge and the 3D printers have invited curiosity and inventive thinking while also requiring students use logic, mathematics and analytic thinking to create their design."  Students must think creatively to problem-solve and then plan and measure to make sure the design is workable.

"It takes creativity to make a design and patience to perfect it," said Xavier Gorman.  Xavier, a 6th grader, designed a desktop pencil holder for his teacher.  Other designs included a flash drive cover, a MRMS box, desk accessories, a cup, a book mark and more.  Daniel Neuman, a 7th grade student, designed a very successful cell phone holder.  The holder keeps a teacher's desk organized while allowing them to watch a video on their cell phone and work on their computer at the same time.  "Sometimes it is good to step out of your comfort zone and try something new, said Daniel.  I enjoyed the design challenge and having my design printed."

Any time the printers are going you will see kids and adults gathered around anticipating the result. Brita Mann said,  "I hope to expand the idea of the library as a makerspace next year with not only technology but also traditional building tools. Libraries are not just for books any more; they are places where students can collaborate, problem solve, build and create!"

Written by: Brita Mann - Media Specialist
Posted: May 21, 2015 by Brita Mann

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