“You can design anything,” says Klondike first grade student Harper Carroll. Harper is choosing a shape, color and adding her own personal touches to a red box filled with what she describes as crazy long french fries. “Tap here and you can add levels.”
Students in Stephanie Bosma’s class are designers and creators that can not only visualize their creations on an iPad, they can build them thanks to new software and a 3D printer purchased with a Partners in Education grant from Evonik Tippecanoe Laboratories.
Student Shawn Kim is trying to make a scorpion. “I like this because I like construction,” says Shawn. “I can imagine and build whatever I want.”
Harper agrees: “I like it because you get to see it. It comes to life through the 3D printer and it’s yours to keep.”
“When first grade students are inspired through exciting STEM projects, they become lifelong learners whose eyes are always open for the next learning opportunity,” Bosma says.
The printer can be used across all curricula in first grade. “Students can design their own story character to inspire creative writing, invent and problem solve by making a product that stops pencils from rolling off desks, build a product to help teach 3D shapes or fractions, and create directions and maps to share with international pen pals. Ideas are endless.”