In January and February 2022, Mellor Community Primary School participated in the CREATE Education 3D Printer Loan Scheme to run a project. With the arrival of the printer, mysterious objects started to appear around the school!
- To create a range of purposeful resources for the school to use in the classroom
- For children to see the 3d printer in action and understand the basics of how it works
- For one small group of target children to plan lead the project by:
– having training on how to use the 3d printer
– create a short video on how to use the 3d printer
– lead the project across the school and create o ‘hook idea’ to get everyone interested
In order to create a buzz about the 3D printer being in school, a small group of children from the school Creative Council were selected to help plan the project. Firstly, they were trained on how to use the 3D printer and spend some time with the machine to make various items. Then we made a plan for them to introduce the machine to the whole school.
“The 3D printer was amazing. I could not believe that I could design something online and then 45 minutes later it was in my hands. It’s like magic!”
Student, Creative Council
We decided to add some mystery by randomly placing models made by the children in various classrooms while the pupils were outside. All teachers were emailed in advance so they were able to play along and pretend they didn’t know where these models have come. The Creative Council also made a short video called ‘The Mystery of the strange objects in your classroom’ and this was sent to all the teachers so that they could play it to the class.
The video explained where they came from and how the printer works. It also invited all classes to come and view the printer in action. The final part of the video set a whole school challenge for the children (with help from teachers!) to think of some resources that could be used across the school that would benefit the school. This was set as a problem solving activity and pupils were encouraged to look around their classrooms and see what things could be made that would be useful for all. It was also made clear that it didn’t have to be academic.
The Creative Council judged the entries based on how it could benefit the whole school and also what was realistic to make (as they had the training they knew more about what could be created). The idea that was chosen was new door stops for all classes! Teachers and children complained that door stops break easily and often go missing so the Creative Council spent time coming up with a new design that would not only work well but also look fun. With the help of our ICT Technician, they came up with a foot design that they tested on a range of doors successfully. Whilst they were printing, classes were invited to come and watch the process and the Creative Council children were on hand to show them the whole journey from designing it to printing it. When all the door stops were printed, the children had the fun job of delivering them to the classrooms!
Whilst this project was running, staff also used the printer to create a range of whole school resources such as badges for various pupil groups to use, key rings to be attached to ICT equipment and models for upcoming whole school events. The mysterious objects made at the start of the project have been taken by the geography subject lead who will use them to create a 3d map of the world.
“Having the 3d Printer in the school provided the pupils with a real sense of awe and wonder. They saw how a design online can be sliced and printed into a 3d model. Staff and pupils all enjoyed seeing the printer in action and loved having something purposeful from the experience!”
Antony Hibble, Assistant Headteacher, Mellor Community Primary School
CREATE Education would like to thank Antony Hibble and the Creative Council Students at Mellor Community Primary School for sharing their project with us.