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3-D Printers, Software Developers, and Programmers


There's a lot of STE(A)M right now at Saint David's. Seventh graders have been thinking 3-dimensionally, designing, creating and printings bookmarks using the 3D printer and first grader boys have been busy with Lego WeDo Robotic Kits.

For the seventh grade project, boys had to critique the form and function of an effective bookmark, and explore the way a 3D printer prints (by adding layer upon layer) in order to execute a successful bookmark design. They were challenged to incorporate three-dimensional elements into their bookmark design. Two of the designs are shown here.

One design cleverly contained the word "Library," which when viewed from behind looks like a stack of books!

In addition to the bookmark design project, seventh graders learned skills employed by software developers to design and improve a selection of video games using Scratch.

While our seventh graders are challenging themselves to utilize the "z" axis in one part of the curriculum, our first graders were busy programming Bee Bots to navigate a neighborhood.

While their initial challenge some time ago involved simply programming the colorful Bee Bots to travel from point "A" to point "B," they are now being challenged to program their Bots to navigate in ways that involve avoiding a dog and a construction site, and stopping for ice cream along the way to its destination.

First graders have also been building robots using electric motors and sensors.

All of these projects involve cooperative team work, critical analysis of the many variables involved to achieve a successful outcome, and extensive cycles of trial and error.  And, especially significant, they involve boys actively engaging--doing and creating with technology--rather than merely consuming it.

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