FASD Tech. Report

Volume 2 Issue 6

Printing In The 3rd Dimension

My son is very much into the Jurassic Park movie series. I have seen all of them previously, but the experience of watching them again with my son is amazing. Watching them again all these years later has allowed me to notice some things that I had not previously paid attention to. Specifically, I was thrilled, while watching the third installment in the series, to see the archaeologists using a "Rapid Prototyping Machine" to produce a working 3D model of a velociraptor resonating chamber. The reason for my excitement? This was a real-world use of 3D printing technology.

The 3D printing technology in this film from 2001 has grown and expanded quite rapidly in recent years. The manufacturing industry routinely uses this technology to create samples and models; the medical industry is using "Bio Ink" to print human skin, ears, and kidneys, as well as more affordable prosthetic limbs; sugars and other food substances are being utilized to print intricate candies, cakes, and piping designs impossible to create by hand; for better or worse, the technology is being used to print working firearms; desktop 3D printers are becoming increasingly affordable, allowing for schools and tinkerers to have easy access to the technology. The future of 3D printing technology is wide open and we should see some amazing uses going forward.

For those that don't know, FASD is blessed to have THREE of these 3D printers available for use! If you would like to learn more about how you might utilize 3D printing in your classroom, let's talk! The actual printing process is as simple as me bringing the printer to your classroom, downloading your designs, and getting the process started!

3D Printing - Jurassic Park - Implications for Science

Classroom Spotlight!

Mrs. Thurau's - 4th Grade - Sandycreek Elementary

Mrs. Thurau returned from PETE&C with a project idea in mind that would incorporate 3D printing technology. Her students conducted research on various symbols of the state of Pennsylvania and created a poster display of their findings. The 3D implementation involved the students drawing their vision of a specific state symbol - an oil derrick, for example. After students created these illustrations, they browsed Thingiverse to find a 3D model that closely matched the illustrations. From there, Mrs. Thurau invited me into her room.

I was thrilled to have the opportunity to discuss various aspects of 3D printing with these 4th grade students. We talked about the process from the actual drawing in CAD software, to the downloading of the file, the file type, and how the computer breaks the file down into thin layers to determine the best path for the printer to take to create a successful print. At the conclusion of this lesson, students had the opportunity to watch a file print from beginning to end (about 15 minutes). Lots of fun and a great introduction to this technology.

Student work will be on display on April 2, 2016 during the NPAECT STEAM Showcase.

Mrs. Miller - 8th Grade Computer Information Technology - FMS

Taking 3D printing technology to the next level, students in 8th grade Computer Information Technology classes have been using Tinkered to create original 3D models. The initial project required all students to design and send personalized Key Tags - similar to those discount cards you receive from every store at which you shop - to be printed on one of the district 3D printers.

All 8th grade students will leave Mrs. Miller's classroom with a physical model of what had started as an idea. This is quite a meaningful experience. In addition to the Key Tags, students were tasked with designing an original item of their choice. They were challenged to create something entirely new, unique, and creative. When finished, Middle School teachers will vote on the best designs from each class period. The winning design from each class will be printed for the winning students.

This project hasn't been without it's frustrations. Mrs. Miller and I have become very well versed in the inner workings of the 3D printer as we've had to disassemble the machine several times to replace a few wires, clear a few extruder clogs, and perform basic troubleshooting tasks. Our showing the students how we deal with the machine and printing failures may very well be just as valuable as the project itself. This has been a wonderful learning experience for all.

3D Printing In The News!

STEM Education

On March 29, Middle School students Peyton Goodrick, Jordan Irvine, Kira Rios, and Tyler Lyons participated in the 2016 STEM K'Nex Challenge at the Riverview Intermediate Unit. These students were tasked with designing and building a structure that focused on solving a specific environmental concern and had the ability to support weight. The students conducted research on sustainable architecture and proceeded to build.

In addition to the physical structure, students prepared a budget that calculated the total cost of their building, a narrative report that discussed their daily experiences, and an engineering notebook that were submitted to judges for evaluation. The final components for evaluation were team work and an oral presentation. Of the ten participating schools in the Grades 6-8 Division, six teams walked away with an award/honor - Franklin Middle School was one of these recipients! The students' hard work earned them the award for most successful Challenge Completion.

The students learned a lot about the engineering process through the completion of this project and through their interactions with the other participating schools. It is always amazing to see the unique approaches different groups of students take when solving the same problem with the same tools at their disposal. I look forward to seeing FASD students participating in future STEM Challenges!

Professional Development Opportunities

As everyone knows, we have the opportunity, starting in April, compile hours to "buy" our time on May 27, making May 26 the official final day for teachers. These hours must be earned by performing tasks falling outside of our normal duties. For this reason, now might be the ideal time to brush up on your educational technology skills by attending some upcoming webinars from Simple K12 or by attending ED CAMP Grove City College. Check out the following opportunities!

ED CAMP Grove City College


Join us April 23, 2016, at the Hall of Arts and Letters at Grove City College from 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM for a day of learning, innovation, and educational excitement.

The event itself is free, however, Act-48 hours will be provided by MWIU 4 for $5. You can receive up to 6 Act-48 hours for this event. If you are interested in obtaining Act-48 hours for this event, please see an edcampgcc volunteer for a form.

For REGISTRATION and a list of all the swag that comes along with this even, click here!

Contact Me!

Want to schedule a coaching session? I welcome the opportunity to discuss how technology can augment, modify, and redefine how students learn in your classroom. Let me know!