Friday, 17 April 2015

Devon Energy's Science Giants Grant

Late last June, I found out that we were recipients of Devon Energy's Science Giants Grant.  With grant money, we purchased a 3D printer, a 3D scanner and filament of various colours to augment our science and enrichment programs.  Our 3D printer and accompanying filaments arrived quickly and immediately put into use, first in the enrichment program and then in the science classes. The 3D scanner took longer to acquire due to shipping errors but did finally arrive in January.

The science teachers were very excited to put the new equipment to use and I have been amazed at the student projects that have been created. 

If you have the opportunity to incorporate 3D printers in your classroom, I highly recommend it.  Below are some examples of 3D printing projects that we have done this year.

 Science/Mathematics – grade 8 – Tessellation 
In this assignment, students created a complex shape which can be used to tile a 2D plane. Using Google Sketchup, students followed a given set of instructions to design a tracing block to be used to create a tessellating pattern on paper, in the style of M.C. Escher.

  Science/Mathematics - grade 8 – Lost in Space

In this project, students learned about volume and surface area while preparing for their ultimate task: designing and constructing a key to fit into an existing lock. The 3D printed locks were provided by the teacher. The keys were designed (once again with Google Sketchup) to fit the lock, and then 3D printed, by the students.
 Enrichment 7, 8 and 9

Students have been working on a variety of projects. They started with designing and printing key fobs then they moved to designing and printing parts for their Lego Robots for a Lego Robotics competition. Students recently finished printing their robotic action figures that they designed to have 5 degrees of mobility.

Information Technology 7

With the 3D printer being incorporated into the science classes, the IT teacher decided to teach students how to use Google Sketch Up in their grade 7 IT class to aid the science/math teachers.

Teachers are excited about the endless possibilities for incorporating 3D technology in the classroom. Although we initially intended that the 3D printer would be used in the science classes, we did not realize the spillover to other classes that would occur. Suddenly we are looking at designing mini rockets, creating hydraulics, the applications for art and how we can use this technology in the shop classes. Students are mesmerized by the 3D printer itself and are excited to be designing and doing different hands-on activities.

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