March 22, 2015
3D Doodler in the Classroom
My students have had a good time learning about 3D printing this year. In fact, many of them want to get a printer for their home. One of my students got a 3D Doodler for Christmas (the world’s first 3D pen). He brought it into class shortly after the break, but we were focused on other projects and didn’t have an opportunity to really use it for anything other than playing.
This past week it was time to teach about perimeter. I thought the 3D Doodler would be perfect for that. My class already has a good understanding of many ideas related to 3D printing, and I was excited to use this technology to drive home the point of perimeter.
I started with projecting my iPad showing the Cubify Draw app that we used to print our earbud holders at the beginning of the year. I drew a triangle and asked them which part of the triangle was the perimeter. After a few answers I “filled” the shape, which you can do in Cubify Draw, and asked them what part of the shape was showing. They correctly responded that the Area was showing. I have been wanting to illustrate that concept for a long time. It took working with the app earlier in the year to figure out how easy it could be.
After that brief introduction, I asked the owner of the 3D Doodler to join me in the front of the room. I pointed the camera of my iPad at his hands (so the rest of the class could see what he was doing) and asked him to draw a few polygons. While he was drawing, I was quizzing the rest of the class about the polygons and perimeters and area.
As he drew the shapes I had him hand them out to the students so they could measure the perimeter of each of the polygons. It was really nice to have actual shapes to measure. There was something special about being able to create a shape that the kids could hold and then measure. I really think they got the concept and we will be able to move forward with looking at the formula for finding Area with a good foundation of understanding. I’m excited to see how the rest of the unit turns out. I have a feeling that this illustration will lead to a better understanding of Area and Perimeter.