My students need a Cricut Maker and a variety of materials to help turn their 2-D designs into 3-D structures in order to enhance the development of 3-D spatial skills.
My students are high school kids with little exposure to hands-on activities that explore STEAM skills. They visit the library media center at lunch time to work in groups, socialize, play games and visit the makerspace, wanting to engage in robotics, arts and crafts and electronic related activities.
I have noticed that girls have difficulty building robots and structures and seem to be at a disadvantage in the area of 3-D spatial skills, either because of lack of exposure or cultural preconceptions about STEAM fields.
Our school is situated in a high poverty neighborhood, and also houses a couple of magnet programs that attract students from other neighborhoods in town. The resulting student population is varied, with multiple interests and academic levels, but overall girls seem to be at a disadvantage when it comes to participating in STEAM activities and preparing for STEAM careers in college.
Designing 3-D structures on paper is a time consuming process that helps students visualize geometric structures. Because there is no immediate feedback from paper to final object, students lose focus and get easily frustrated when the project fails on the first try. According to educational research by Sheryl Sorby (MTU), the development of 3-D spatial skills is extremely important when students prepare for engineering and other STEAM fields such as architecture, nanotechnology, biotechnology and advanced CAD design among others.
The Cricut Maker bundle will allow my students to quickly print their 2-D designs, and to obtain almost immediate feedback so they can adjust their plan to successfully produce 3-D structures.
The development of these 3-D skills has been proven to be one of the most important factors in student success in STEAM disciplines. All students, not just girls, will be able to access this equipment and materials in order to develop 3-D spatial skills while they visit the Media Center makerspace. These skills will help students conceptualize and build robots for VEX competitions, and understand concepts in Organic Chemistry and other disciplines where being able to "see" in 3-D is a requisite for success.
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|Cricut Maker Bundle - 40 sheets of Vinyl/Transfer Tape, Basic Tool Kit, 30 Pack Pen Set, and Designer Fabric Sampler • Amazon Business||$472.86||1||$472.86|
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