STEAM & Curious Minds

It’s crazy how this month’s theme of Robots, Space and STEAM gets students of all ages excited about learning. I am the mother of two young girls and I consider myself lucky to be surrounded by a community of users that are passionate about what they do. My 5 five-year old came home from pre-school and announced that she “knows how to design think.”  

Good thing she has a mom that asked a few follow-up questions:

“What is design think?”

In her simple five-year old terms she replied, “It’s when you think of something in your head then draw it and do some stuff to make it work.”

My follow-up was, “how do you make it work?”

“Mommy, it’s like when Elsa in Frozen made her castle out of ice. She had it in her head, what she wanted it to look like and then it came out of her hands. She made it.”

Well, it may not be the webster’s definition but she is on the right track.  

With global declines in test scores around science, math, engineering and math, teachers are looking to the Maker movement to help disrupt their classrooms. Many have looked into the Autodesk Digital STEAM workshop to use project based learning to capture the minds of their students and retain engagement in these subjects. These projects are easy ways to get the students in the back of your classroom to engage. Students want to use their minds, they have an innate curiosity to learn so let’s tap into the Maker movement and keep the excited alive! Who knows maybe we will all “design think” one day.

Glow-in-the-Dark Rocket Mobile with 123D and Tinkercad

We've been thinking about rockets and spaceships this week at 123D and we had some cool glow-in-the-dark filament for a Makerbot Rep2, so naturally: GLOW IN THE DARK SPACESHIPS!

The models came directly from the 123Dapp.com gallery, and the planets, end caps and filament points I quickly modeled in Tinkercad. Because the rockets were taller than would fit on a Makerbot, I imported them into MeshMixer to chop them in half witht the Slice tool. Slicing them also allowed for printing without support material.  With a little Krazy Glue, you get more size options.

If you want to make this yourself, you can try downloading more and different rockets. We've collected together a bunch of really varied rocket designs. ( <- click to see the collection and download!)

The trickiest part of a mobile is (perhaps obvious) is the balancing of all the elements - both physically and visually.  I printed a couple different sizes of rockets and planets, with varying infills so that I would have options when I started assembling it.  Only after printing the last rocket did I realize I could have just modeled the eyelets, but there you have it.

In total, the project cost about $15 in parts and materials: monofilament, eyelets, dowels and krazy glue. 

 

This is a perfect weekend project - and the glow-in-the-dark filament is available from Makerbot.  See the whole project here on 123dapp.com.  What are you making for SPAC3D?

MakerBot and Autodesk Partner to Crowdsource 3D Printers in Schools!

It's funny that right after our last post about Obama's Industrial Revolution speech in 3D, we got confirmation of a rad new program for high schools!

Beginning November 12, 2013, individuals and corporations interested in helping get MakerBot Desktop 3D Printers in schools can visit DonorsChoose.org, a crowd funding site just for teachers, and pledge to financially support the program. Teachers then register on DonorsChoose.org for a MakerBot Academy bundle. MakerBot is contributing its own resources to launch this education initiative, along with Autodesk and other key partners.

This initiative is a unique partnership between MakerBot, DonorsChoose.org America Makes, and Autodesk, and was a response to a call to action by the President of the United States. In the recent State of the Union Address, President Barack Obama announced a new initiative to bring manufacturing jobs back to the U.S. He affirmed, “3D printing has the potential to revolutionize the way we make almost everything. We must ensure that the Next Industrial Revolution in manufacturing will happen in America. We can get that done.”

Each MakerBot Academy bundle contains a MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer, three spools of MakerBot® PLA Filament, and a full year of the MakerBot MakerCare™ Service and Protection Plan. MakerBot will also support the teachers with the development of ongoing 3D printing curriculum that teachers can participate in and utilize in the classroom. MakerBot will leverage Autodesk’s software and educator curriculum as well.

“Autodesk signed on as a key partner in the MakerBot Academy initiative because helping students unlock their creativity and prepare for future careers is a core part of our mission,” said Samir Hanna, Autodesk vice president, consumer products. “Bringing together accessible applications like Autodesk TinkerCAD project-based curriculum from our instructables.com community and the MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer will inspire and engage the next generation of design-minded students.”

MakerBot is also launching a MakerBot Thingiverse Math Manipulatives Challenge. Math Manipulatives are one of the most requested items on DonorsChoose.org and are an item that can easily be 3D printed in the classroom. The MakerBot Thingiverse website will hold a week-long design challenge, from November 12 through 18, 2013, for its members to quickly develop a variety of different math manipulative 3D designs that can then be available immediately to teachers that receive the MakerBot Academy 3D printing package.

What can you do??

A. Visit DonorsChoose.org and pledge your support. Individuals and corporations can help fund the MakerBot Academy 3D Printing package by making a tax-deductible donation via DonorsChoose.org.

B. Tell schoolteachers about the MakerBot Academy program and encourage them to register on DonorsChoose.org right away. Students and their community can also help teachers raise the additional funds they need to bring the MakerBot Academy 3D Printing bundle into the classroom.

C. Participate in the Thingiverse Challenge to develop models teachers can use to improve Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education.

D. Visit makerbot.com/Academy. For more information on supporting or registering for the program, visit DonorsChoose.org.

So join us in this effort (at an individual or corporate level) to help move America’s students to the forefront of technology and global competitiveness..!

From the 123D Gallery: Pig Monster from Amnesia by Amanda Jackson

When we heard about the Steam release of the horror game mashup, Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs, something seemed familiar...  Then we remembered this great model by 123D Creature user Amanda Jackson back in March.   

Have you played it yet??