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When it comes to 3D printing education, not too many companies have invested as much time and energy into providing resources as the prominent New York City-based desktop 3D printing company MakerBot has. Aside from developing educational resources and tools for a wide range of individuals, from kindergarten students to business professionals, MakerBot is also hosting summer Makeathons throughout tech-centric cities, such as New York City and San Francisco. These events are geared towards educators who are interested in learning to create educational projects and lesson plans that can be integrated into the classroom.
This year, MakerBot announced that their summer Makeathon sessions would aim at developing STEAM education content, granting educators with minimal 3D printing experience the tools to become familiar with the educational aspects of the emerging technology. A few weeks ago, one of our writers, Michael A. Parker, attended and participated in the year’s first MakerBot Makeathon challenge, which kicked off in the Brooklyn-based MakerBot headquarters. At the Makeathon, attendees were asked to enhance an existing lesson plan by incorporating 3D printing technology and programming into it.
Not even a month later, MakerBot brought the second summer STEAM Makeathon out west to the TechShop San Francisco, also the home to last year’s Bay Area Makeathon, which MakerBot hosted in collaboration with Tikkun Olam Makers (TOM). At this year’s STEAM Makeathon, educators gathered together to collaborate to develop 3D printing lesson plans for their classrooms. During the two-day event, participants broke into teams to develop STEAM-driven projects, which helped them accumulate a deeper understanding of 3D printing technology. Tasked with the same challenge as the previous STEAM Makeathon, participating teams unveiled their lesson plans, and then voted for lesson plans they felt were the most well-suited for the classroom.
The winner of the San Francisco Makeathon was the ArchaeoDesign Team, who received first place for their lesson plan called “A Walk Through Time: Ancient Civilization”. In this lesson plan, which is constructed for the common core Social Studies curriculum, students are sent on a historical journey through Ancient Egypt, where they will explore and uncover 3D printed artifacts along the Nile River. The educational ‘tour’ is guided by a codedOzobot, while students record their discoveries in their journals. For their innovative lesson plan, both members of the ArchaeoDesign Team were awarded a MakerBot Replicator Desktop 3D Printer.
Second place in the San Francisco STEAM Makeathon went to Team Uber, who created the Sphero Hat STEAM Tool Project. This lesson plan provides students with a way to create artwork and explore various concepts in both physics and math, using programming and the Sphero SPRK, which is a codable, robotic ball. The project enables students to design their own clips for a pushing competition between two Spheros, and also allows them to observe how drogue shifts the front of the Sphero Hat while holding various pens, chalks, and paint brushes to create artwork. For their lesson plan, Team Uber received an Ozobot Bundle and a copy of MakerBot in the Classroom, an educational resource focused on the basics of 3D printing and design.
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