How did we get involved?

We heard about this project through a design and technology email. I went to my head and said that it sounded too good to be true but when I investigated further realised it was actually that good!

How easy is it to set up?

The process of applying and getting set up could not be easier. Once we had applied, the amazing team at CREATE Education supported us fully with ideas for projects, documents, downloads and of course their technical expertise. The support was end to end of the project, including a set up call where one of the team talks you through set up and a practice print for the 3D printer, a specific named contact to speak to if there is an issue, a mid loan call to check in and a post loan call to see what can be improved.

“I have not had support like this from an external agency in my whole teaching career.” Mr Upchurch (DT and Art lead teacher)

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Which year groups used the printer? 

We used the printer with both Year 5 and Year 6. The did slightly different projects but the excitement at being able to use the technology was infectious. From the moment the children walked into the room and saw a small robot being magically created in front of them, they could not wait to have a go themselves, to see their own creations appear. All of the children had a preparation session where they were taught to use Tinkercad to design a name tag. These tags were then printed so that the children could see the virtual become reality. 

Year 5 – Design a new chocolate bar.

Year 5 went through the design process of creating a new chocolate bar that they would purchase if they saw it in the shops.  

Firstly they did some research into what was already available and then did some taste testing to think about what they might like to put into their chocolate bar to make is stand out.  

Then came the designing process of what they would like the chocolate bar to look like. We used Tinkercad as it is a simple interface that can allow you to do amazingly detailed 3D designs. Coming together in groups they then took their favourite elements of each persons design to create a group design, linking to our Skills Builder program that we follow as a school.

The wonder of the children as their designs came to life was exciting for all of the staff in the school. Parents could not believe how excited their children had become over this project. 

“The thing I enjoyed most about the chocolate DT project was designing it on Tinkercad, because I haven’t really used a 3D app before. I hope we can use it again in the future.”

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Moving on the skills. 

The year 6 cohort had already become familiar with using the 3D design space, having completed the chocolate making project the previous year. To move on those skills we asked all of them to come up with their own design for the next generation of video games controllers. They had to think about control surfaces, position of buttons and ergonomics as well as the look of the project and who the target audience would be.

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One of the teachers gave their thoughts on how they think the students have got on with 3D printing and how they think having a 3D printer in the classroom has impacted them.

“The year 6 students have show great determination and enthusiasm in this project. Having them collaborate and share their ideas works well with out skills builder curriculum of team work, communication and aiming high. The creative ideas that the students came up with were amazing.”