March 16, 2016

Student Perspectives on 3D Printing in the Classroom

This week I am preparing to speak at the CUE (Computer Using Educators) conference in Palm Springs. I’m getting excited about the opportunity, and I decided I wanted to know what my 4th graders thought about having a 3D printer in the classroom. I had them write a response to a writing prompt today, and what they said speaks volumes as to the impact this machine has had on their learning. But don’t take my word for it.

The first time I was introduced to 3d printing I was amazed. I thought it was amazing how the nozzle knows where to go and the way you can see everything print. What amazed me the most is that you could literally change the world with a 3d printer. And it all would start with 123design. 123design is an app and icon that allows you to make anything you want using shapes to make crazy cool inventions. I have designed a nameplate that can hold 2 pencils and your own ipad or iphone. The nameplate has the year, your name, and your school. I would like to make an invention that would help people out. I want to make a gadget that will do something to fix a problem people have in their normal daily lives. 3d printing has helped my learning by looking at more volume in 3d shapes and changing my perspective on how I look at things. In the icon we use in class to print 3d afina it has Y,X, and Z positions which has showed me stuff about dimensions. I think 3d printing is a great tool to use and have in life I hope everyone will get to use one one day.


        I think 3D printing is fun and a great resource for learning. On the 3D printer I have made an insect, called the Honey Monarch, for my Insect Newsletter, I am designing a nameplate and am printing a probe right now! I want to make something for the design challenge  on the 3D printer. 3D printing helps me learn in many ways, like it teaches me how to problem solve if something is not working on the 3D printer, and how to make it work correctly. It also shows how to be creative with things, like how my group and I had to be creative with what we can print on the 3D printer to help us with our planet nine project.  3D printing also give my class and I resources to help us learn and understand the lesson better. Those are some of my reasons of why I think 3D printing is a great resources and a great way of learning new things.


I love 3D printing, and I think it’s really fun to use because we can print whatever you imagine as long as you can design it. Some things I have made with the 3D Printer are my nameplate, the insects we made for a project, and also parts for the Planet 9 project. I would like to print a cool statue of a superhero or something that would be cool to look at. It has helped my learning by instead of imagining something that would be hard to make out of stuff in the classroom I can actually have it 3D printed which make it more fun to learn. There are somethings that I don’t like about it, and one is it takes long to get it from the website and on to the 3D printer also it doesn’t always work on the first try. But all around I love the 3D printers in my classroom.

The students are really beginning to understand how this is all part of the process. They have impressed me with their creativity and by how much they have grown into problem solvers.

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