Welcome to the second week of the 3D Printing Pals interview series! This week we interviewed Lucy Amaral, a computer specialist at the Lafayette School District. Her goal is to work collaboratively with teachers on developing and integrating student-centered, technology-based lessons. She talks about how her students have used the MOD-t’s and her school district’s future plans for them!
How long have you been 3D printing?
Our school received three 3D printers January of 2017.
What initially interested you about 3D printing?
Our district plans to create a maker space at each school with a mobile maker space option as well as a stand alone space.
Have you used a 3D printer before the MOD-t?
How is the user experience of the MOD-t?
The MOD-t is easy to set up and easy to use. Once you are comfortable with the path to printing, it’s really straightforward. The great part is that students can use different design software and then print through the MOD-t.
How did you hear about the MOD-t?
Our Director of Innovation selected the model.
How has the MOD-t changed the atmosphere of your classroom?
As a computer specialist, I am able to work with all grades at our elementary school so having a 3D printer afforded us the opportunity to see how we could use it across the grades. As we are moving to a maker space model, it is an interesting challenge to blend 3D printing with learning goals in order to help students deepen their understanding of a subject.
How have you incorporated the MOD-t into your classroom curriculum?
One example that was developed was a ‘classroom crest’ project. Our Fifth Grade students study explorers. We developed a lesson that had students study explorer crests: why they were used, what the symbols represented, etc. Eileen Love and Stephanie Coffee, computer specialists, worked with the classes to complete the assignment. We asked the students to develop a ‘class crest’. They considered what symbols would best represent their class, and what they accomplished throughout the year. The students then worked in teams to develop a symbol that would be part of the crest, and once approved, the students designed it online and 3D printed it.
In what ways do you believe your students have benefitted from having access to a 3D printer in the classroom?
3D printing not only brings a sense of engagement to any project, it allows student to see their creativity and collaboration come to life.
In your opinion, what is the future of 3D printing?
I think that if 3D printing can enhance a student’s depth of knowledge, it’s future is bright.