Alice Gentili is a Visual Art Educator and Department Chair in the Mendon-Upton Regional School District, where she is entering her twentieth year. She earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting from Massachusetts College of Art, Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Elementary Education, Master of Education in Art, Certificate in Instructional Technology, and STEM Certificate from Framingham State University. Alice participated in the Harvard Graduate School of Education Project Zero Classroom week-long summer program in 2015 and the Thinking and Learning in the Maker-Centered Classroom online course in 2016.
She is an Apple Teacher, a Google Certified Educator and Lifelong Maker, using iPads in the art classroom to design for 3D printing, and for digital art, media art, and Google Classroom. In 2013, she authored and completed the Every Day Drawing Challenge to create 365 paintings on the iPad. Alice is currently focused on developing project-based middle level STEAM curriculum for the Maker Centered Classroom. She was named the 2017 NAEA Eastern Region Art Educator of the Year, the 2017 NAEA/Art Education and Technology Outstanding Educator, the 2015 Massachusetts Art Educator of the Year, and the 2012 Massachusetts Middle School Art educator of the Year.
How long have you been 3D printing?
I first began 3D printing in 2013 when I received a grant for a printer for my middle school art classroom. Since that time, we have added two more 3D printers to the classroom.
What initially interested you about 3D printing?
I first became interested in 3D printing in February 2013. President Obama mentioned the technology in his State of the Union address for its potential positive impact on the return of tech-industry and other manufacturing jobs to the United States. As I thought more about the possibilities of the process, I realized 3D printing has huge potential as another medium in the art classroom.
Have you used a 3D printer before the MOD-t?
Yes, I have been using a MakerBot Replicator II since 2013, and a Polar 3D since last summer.
If so, how does your user experience of the MOD-t differ from other 3D printers?
What I love about the MOD-t is its ease of use and affordable price. I think it is a perfect first 3D printer, as well as a durable, dependable every day machine. The user experience is friendly and the New Matter cloud is intuitive. Also, New Matter service is very friendly and helpful.
How did you hear about the MOD-t?
I attended the International Society of Technology in Education convention in Denver last summer, visited the New Matter booth and watched the MOD-t in action. I liked the way it moved and I liked the cover for keeping emissions in and curious hands out.
How has the MOD-t changed the atmosphere of your classroom?
The MOD-t is a welcome addition to our classroom. It helps us keep up with model making when we have 250 students at a time designing models.
How have you incorporated the MOD-t into your classroom curriculum?
At this time, I have written units of learning about Castles, Game Boards, Bridges, City Planning, and Animals, which all incorporate 3D printing as an artistic medium. The MOD-t is instrumental model making for these units.
In what ways do you believe your students have benefitted from having access to a 3D printer in the classroom?
Designing for 3D printing and making models affords an opportunity for my students to experience the design process and thinking first hand. Because the MOD-t easily prints models, students can revise their designs and quickly create new test prints. This is an authentic way for students to experience the realities of revision and persistence.
What do you think the coolest project/ object you or your students have made with the MOD-t?
All the projects are cool in their own way. I’ll attach some photos for you to see.
In your opinion, what is the future of 3D printing?
It appears that 3D printing is everywhere and has become a standard for product design in both the industrial and home platforms. I am happy the prices for printers have come down, making them more accessible. I await the day when multi-color printers become more accessible.
Anything else to add?
Thank you for this opportunity to talk about 3D printing. My students had so much success with the MOD-t so we added 2 more to our district this year. Because I like the MOD-t so much, Santa brought me one for Christmas last year so I can 3D print at home! Keep up the good work!