Below is the proposal of one of the winning Ultimaker Challenge Schools, Brookmead School who proposed to design specific elements of a meaningful and educational centre for their local area which won them an Ultimaker 2+ courtesy of Ultimaker BV.

Brookmead School

We are a primary school who have technology within the ethos of the school. Our recent investment in Chromebooks, enables us to primarily use Cloud-based resources and technology to support pupil’s learning. As a Google School we utilise Google classroom and our staff are completing the Google Education training programme.

4 Weeks ago we went to PGL in Liddington where the children saw how land use can be changed to create a meaningful and educational area. On our return we looked at a piece of wasteland in the local area and designed plans for a PGL centre there. We then wrote persuasive letters to the Parish Council before moving on to design specific elements of the centre. We spent one full day in class to design and plan using mindmup, Google Drawings and paper based design sheets. To make them in a format for a 3D printer, we would then need additional time to plan on a relevant program and then complete the printing process.

After their recent residential trip to PGL Liddington, all of Year 6 embarked on a project to consider how an area of undeveloped wasteland on a nearby residential and industrial estate could be transformed. We walked to the site from school, completed initial drawings and jotted down ideas before then considering the advantages and disadvantages of developing the site back in the classroom.

We used this evidence and our plans to write persuasive letters to the Parish Council detailing why this area of land could be transformed into a PGL type centre here on our doorstep.

Wanting to design and create something that would have relevance and meaning to the children, we used the opportunity of the Ultimaker Challenge to engage the children with the concept of 3D printing as a tool for design and innovation. 3D printing was something that one or two were aware of as they have older siblings at senior schools who may have seen a 3D printer working. Most had not considered it to be something to which they would have access.

The children worked in groups of 3 or 4 to gather ideas for one specific aspect of the site – a low level obstacle course which had to incorporate elements that allowed uses to go over, under, around and through. They recorded their thoughts on Mindmup – a free mind-mapping tool available on chromebooks, which we had not used before. Each group considered the materials they would need if they were to make it as part of a real obstacle course, could these be sustainable and environmentally friendly? They also had to develop their plans so they would fit a target audience, evaluate and make alterations ensuring that these specifications were met.

They then designed initial ideas using Google Drawings and inserted these as attached files to the Mindmup. Once sure of their ideas next they considered scales and sizes, using multi-links to support their understanding of scales, before recording details plans on paper with measurements.

Access to a 3D printer would enable us to create a scaled model of each obstacle providing an overall appreciation of the design and how might be viewed. This would provide a real purpose and obvious end product from their calculations and designs.

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