My students need a MakerBot 3-D printer.
Engineers use creativity to solve problems. In my engineering classes I use a problem based learning approach where students leverage their creativity to create solutions to an array of problems. Often their creativity is hindered by the materials and equipment they have at their disposal.
My students never cease to amaze me.
Last year they constructed two high altitude weather balloon capsules that ascended 20 miles into the atmosphere snapping pictures (see project photo for an example) and taking atmospheric measurements along the way. They've also become a dominant force at local robotics competitions, where they've competed and won using borrowed robotics equipment. The frequency of these large scale projects and initiatives is limited based on our ability to acquire resources and equipment. Most of the resources and equipment my students have access to is what I find on my way to and from work and the tools I have available in my basement. Often I'll even dig into my own paycheck to supplement this. My students are extremely talented, but the reality is they exist in an area where the resources made available to them are extremely limited. The plane they exist on isn't tilted in their favor and this is an attempt to balance things out a bit.
In my engineering class we explore the principles of engineering design. Through the lens of the engineering design we examine topics in civil, industrial, electrical, mechanical, and computer engineering. I routinely present my students with a variety of engineering challenges that they develop solutions to using their understanding of the content we cover in class. I've had my students create thermal insulating mugs to study manufacturing methods, design their own recipes for concrete to study construction materials, construct steam powered boats to examine mechanical systems, and create flood detectors to study electrical and communication systems. All of these projects require access to variety of materials and manufacturing equipment to make either a portion or all of the project. A 3D printer would give my students access to a versatile and relevant piece of manufacturing equipment that they'd use throughout the year to develop solutions to these engineering challenges .
The reality is that inequalities exist in the resources and equipment urban youth have access to.
If we existed in a better funded district we'd already have a 3D printer in addition to an assortment of fabrication equipment. This funding proposal is part of a greater initiative of mine to create an engineering and technology space for students at our school. The space will be used by our engineering classes (9th-12th grades) and our engineering club (6th-12th grades) for a very broad impact.Read More
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|MakerBot Academy - 3D Printing Bundle • MakerBot||$2,000.00||1||$2,000.00|
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