Coding, Making, 3D Printing, and Learning

2/25/2015 9:56:00 AM

PIRL space in use during Creator’s Studio
To give students the opportunity to stretch their creative ideas and manifest them in the physical world, they need the appropriate space, tools, time, and support at their schools. St. Matthew’s Parish School in Pacific Palisades, CA, has created what they believe to be the necessary environment to foster this creativity

SPACES AND TOOLS

St. Matthew’s Parish School has two dedicated spaces where tools are most readily accessible. The first space is the Project & Idea Realization Lab (PIRL), which is described as the clean work space. It is outfitted with the following tools and materials:

■ Four 3D printers

■ Various Arduino microcontrollers and Raspberry Pi

■ Hummingbird robotics kits

■ Soldering irons, and other electronics tools

■ Spare parts, including motors, switches,
LEDs, resistors, toy wheels, and fans The PIRL space is designed to facilitate the kind of learning environment that allows for creativity, flexibility, and collaboration. The tables can quickly be configured to accommodate pairs, small groups, and large groups. They also fold up, roll, and nest into each other when not used. Most of the walls are writable surfaces, one with a SMART interactive projector that makes it a touch surface as well. Electrical pull-downs are placed in the ceiling for easy access to power anywhere in the room. A giant wall for storage, a green screen filming area, and two audio recording studios complete this indoor space. Just outside, accessible through a roll-up garage-style door, is an additional work area for students that also includes a large wall with writable surface.

The second learning space is the PIRL Terrace. The Terrace is considered the messy space, which includes the following tools and materials:

■ Laser cutter

■ Desktop CNC

■ Miter saws

■ Drill press

■ Handheld power tools

PIRL Terrace tools and materials
■ Wood, acrylic, cardboard, pegboards, and other materials for students to use in building their projects
Students maneuver between these two spaces when working on larger projects. One person in a group might need to design a part in 3D, while another needs to measure and cut a piece of wood. Student work depends on the goals of the project and the direction that students choose to take in their design and construction. The two learning spaces complement each other. They also work in sync with the art room and science lab.

TIME AND SUPPORT

While providing the space and tools is integral for deep project exploration, the process only works due to an allowance for flexible time and the support of trained personnel. The school’s technology staff is trained in the use of the various tools in PIRL and PIRL Terrace. They have also built flexibility into student schedules so that trained personnel can provide in-class support for other faculty when using the spaces.

PROJECTS AND PROGRAMS

By using the mantra “If you build it, they will come,” from the film Field of Dreams, the school has had great success in getting the spaces used by various grade levels, core content areas, and programs. In addition, the school has designed programs specifically for work in PIRL. These examples include the following:

Student works on car chassis with Arduino, motor shield, and programmed IR remote.
Creator’s Studio: This 7th- and 8th- grade elective course focuses on individual, student-driven projects. The course begins with a basic introduction to four major concepts: circuits, coding, physical computing, and 2D and 3D digital fabrication. As a whole group, students explore these concepts together through short projects at the beginning of the semester. Once students have mastered the basics, they can begin working on in-depth individual projects. Students are required to post project reflections on their own blogs. Personal projects have ranged from remote-controlled boats to motion-sensing nerf shooters to 3D-printed tools. Students invariably build in a combination of elements (e.g., circuits, coding, and digital fabrication) in order to accomplish the goals of a project. However, as in the case of the Bouncy Shoes project, it may take just a miter saw, a drill, wood, screws, and rubber bands to build the project. Most importantly, all projects go through multiple iterations as students evaluate and redesign along the way. More information about Creator’s Studio and student blogs can be seen at http://creatorsstudio.org/

Students design and 3D print fins necessary for submarine navigation.
D.E.E.P.: About half of the 8th-grade class participates in the Diving Educational Enrichment Program (D.E.E.P). This third-trimester unit integrates STEAM concepts with underwater diving in order to explore and test laws such as Boyle’s Law, Charles’s Law, Henry’s Law, and the concepts of buoyancy and pressure. For students who opt to design and build underwater submarines as part of their experiment, access to 3D design and printing is essential for the creation of unique parts with custom measurements. Students might design fins or propellers in TinkerCAD and then print them out at their desired size. The ability to quickly create a prototype is essential so that students can test out parts and return to the design phase if they run into problems.

Students design Chinese characters by hand, live trace them in Illustrator, and laser cut on wood.
Ancient Chinese Inventions: In 8thgrade history class, students studying ancient Chinese inventions are given the opportunity to build a replica of their choice. Projects have ranged from a life-sized, two-sided axe, to a crossbow with working trigger mechanism, to working woodcut stamps. Students use Illustrator to design pieces and laser cut their parts in wood. They might also choose to design in 3D using TinkerCAD or 123D Design and print out the final product in plastic.

Students working on a distance-sensing robot using a Hummingbird kit.
Summer STEAM Institute: During the summer, St. Matthew’s offers a week-long STEAM institute for the Boys and Girls Club of Venice and the Neighborhood Youth Association. The theme for the week is “Breaking the Code.” Students can explore The Code of Language by discovering Shakespeare, The Code of Life by exploring DNA, and The Code of the Computer by learning programming. One aspect of this week is to design an interactive display of some kind, using a Hummingbird robotics kit and recycled materials. Students learn to program their Hummingbird board using Create Labs Visual Programmer, which allows them to sense the environment through distance measurement, ambient light, sound, and temperature. In reaction to changes in the environment, LEDs can light up and blink and motors can rotate. Students build around this robotic platform, using wood, cardboard, and an assortment of recycled and repurposed materials.

WORD IS SPREADING

St. Matthew’s Parish School believes that the maker movement is more than just a movement, particularly in education. The work of their students represents a true shift to a more hands-on, real-world, authentic form of learning. The school has built more opportunities for coding in the lower grades and offers an after-school class for young makers. This spring, they plan to start a new club with a focus on 3D design and printing, along with building drones. At St. Matthew’s, they built it, and they have indeed come.

John Umekubo is the director of technology at St. Matthew’s Parish School in Pacific Palisades, CA.

To learn more about St. Matthew’s Parish School, visit

School Web site:
http://www.stmatthewsschool.com/

Creator’s Studio:
http://creatorsstudio.org/

Lucas Scholars Program:

http://lucasscholars.org/

TOOLS THEY USE

Arduino, Flora, and Trinket microcontrollers

Cricut Explore paper and vinyl cutter

Cube 2 3D printer

Full Spectrum 5th-generation hobby laser cutter

Hummingbird robotics kits

Makerbot Replicator, 5thgeneration

Mojo 3D printer, Stratasys

Othermill desktop CNC

Raspberry Pi

Sparkfun Digital Sandbox

Want to read more stories like this?

Get our Free Newsletter Here!

comments powered by Disqus

Kajeet Enhances Sentinel® Platform to Prepare for Explosive Online Learning Growth

Latest Upgrade Supports Advanced Reporting, Improved Filters as Distri...

Pocomoke City Educator Michael Browne Honored as 2017 Maryland National Distinguished Principal

Mentoring Minds Partners with Maryland Principals Association to Recog...

Utah State Evaluation Report Validates Literacy Gains For Students Using Lexia Reading Core5

External Evaluators Also Find Lexia’s Blended Learning Program t...

Schoology Expands Partner Ecosystem With BrainPOP Integration

NEW YORK (March 22, 2017) – Schoology, Inc., the leader in learn...

EPS Instruction and Intervention Earns Finalist Honors in 2017 EdTech Digest Awards

Research-Based Intervention Program, iSPIRE TM, Recognized as a “...

Measured Progress introduces eMPower Assessments

DOVER, NEW HAMPSHIRE—March 21, 2017—Measured Progress, Inc...

Second Avenue Learning Welcomes Director of Research and Learning Design

Rochester, N.Y. (March 21, 2017) – Second Avenue Learning, a lea...

VariQuest Combines STEM Curriculum and 3D Printing for the K-12 Market at the ASCD Empower17 Conference

With new CREATE Packages, educators now have access to a powerful suit...

T&L Partner Post
Tweets
Photo GalleriesView All Galleries >
Acer C720-2844 Chromebook

(www.acer.com) The Acer C720-2844 Chromebook model delivers speedy performance, a quick boot time of seven seconds, and a matte anti-glare display tha...

Britannica ImageQuest

(www.britannica.com) Britannica Digital Learning has upgraded ImageQuest, a resource for schools and libraries that provides nearly three million rig...

ClassFlow

(www.classflow.com) Promethean has released ClassFlow, a free, all-in-one, cloud-based teaching tool that lets teachers create and deliver interactive...

Adobe Voice

(www.adobe.com) Adobe has released Adobe Voice, an animated video app for the iPad that lets users create and share video stories. The app incorporate...

DeskBoard

(www.boxlight.com) The BOXLIGHT DeskBoard mobile cart adjusts both height and tilt for the P8 ultra short throw interactive projector on a white surfa...

Core 36M

(www.bretford.com) Bretford has introduced Core 36M, a 36-unit charging cart that is optimized for Chromebooks but which also supports most tablets, l...

Edmentum Sensei

(www.edmentum.com) Edmentum Sensei is a mobile optimized solution that helps administrators visualize and track overall school, teacher, and student p...

HMH Player

(www.hmhco.com) HMH has released HMH Player, a new native app for iOS and Google Chrome that streamlines the learning experience for improved digital ...

Juice Power System

(www.bretford.com) Bretford has unveiled an easy-to-use modular power system with exchangeable power components. The Juice Power System uses unique &#...

LightSail

(www.lightsailed.com) LightSail Education has announced a literacy accelerator that combines books with in-text embedded assessments and real-time dat...

myON

(www.myon.com) myON has expanded its digital library to include a set of literacy tools to further personalize the reading experience for students whi...

Nervanix Clarity

(www.nervanix.com) Nervanix has released Clarity, an application that monitors student attention levels as they study and guides them to revisit conce...

MathBall

(www.robotslab.com) RobotsLAB has introduced MathBall, a smart sensor basketball and tablet system that offers curricula in algebra, pre-calculus, phy...

MobileAsset.EDU

(www.waspbarcode.com) Wasp Barcode’s MobileAsset.EDU solutions include everything administrators need to account for their assets, from software...

OpenEd Assessment Creation Tool

(www.opened.io) OpenEd has announced a free tool that lets teachers easily create assessments with the question types required by Common Core standard...

Panasonic TH-80LFB70U

(www.panasonic.com) Panasonic’s TH-80LFB70U interactive LED display features high-speed, multi-touch, interactive capabilities to promote partic...

penveu interactive display system

(www.penveu.com) The penveu interactive display system is a handheld device that turns projectors and large screen displays into interactive whiteboar...

PresentationPro

(www.califone.com) Califone has updated its PresentationPro speaker. The PA310 readily connects with computers, LCD projectors, mobile devices, intera...

PowerSync+ Mobile Companion App

(www.bretford.com) Bretford Manufacturing, Inc. has announced the availability of the companion app for its PowerSync+ enabled charge and sync produc...

PureCharge Carts and Stations for iPad

(www.bretford.com) Bretford Manufacturing, Inc. has debuted the PureCharge family of iPad and iPad mini charging carts and stations. By offering pre-i...

ProQuest Research Companion

(www.proquest.com) ProQuest’s new information literacy product, Research Companion, offers videos that guide users through the research process,...

Sphere2 & Class Send Student Engagement Software Platform

(www.averusa.com) AVer Information has developed a Student Engagement platform, providing teachers and students with the tools to transmit document ca...

TabChargeCT2

(www.averusa.com) AVer has released the TabChargeCT2 charge cart solution, which can hold up to 40 Chromebooks, iPads, Android or Windows tablets, lap...

VoiceLift with Instant Alert and Emergency Video Monitoring

(www.extron.com) The Instant Alert function of the Extron VoiceLift Microphone, combined with a PoleVault, WallVault, or PlenumVault classroom AV sys...

SMART Board 6065

(www.smarttech.com) The SMART Board 6065 is an ultra HD, 4K interactive flat panel that offers collaborative capabilities while ensuring lessons run s...

Gaggle Unity Partner Program

(www.gaggle.net) The new Gaggle Unity Partner Program provides free data integration services for all educational technology vendors. Through the Gagg...

Waterford Early Learning, Reading, Math & Science

(www.waterford.org) Waterford Early Learning Cloud can be used at home or to supplement lessons in classrooms. It can also be used for individual adap...

NetSupport School

(www.netsupportschool.com) The latest version of NetSupport School allows teachers to monitor and collaborate with any mix of technology. An enhanced ...

Camtasia

(www.techsmith.com/camtasia) TechSmith’s Camtasia gives teachers the tools to record lessons, create videos, and engage their audiences. Educato...

Panasonic 3E

(www.panasonic.com) Intel has teamed up with Panasonic to announce the Panasonic 3E, which uses the Intel Education 2-in-1 reference design. Designed ...