If you haven’t heard, Millarville Community School has a 3D printer, possibly the first school in the division to explore this technology. Our initial purchase last year was thank-you to your fundraising efforts and those of our fundraising society. I bought a second one last week. Why? I was offered a deal I couldn’t refuse so I bought our students another tool that will help us reach our desired building goals.
Julius Caesar is credited with saying, “It is better to create than to learn. Creating is the meaning of life.” Our IB program at MCS creates an environment that helps children create their own meaning. A 3D printer is one tool that allows students to have a physical representation of their design work from paper or in digital source. It encourages 3 dimensional understanding, scale, perspective and measurement while promoting students to be creators rather than consumers.
Up to this point, we have been tinkering and figuring out how to best utilize the device. With this in mind, we have been fairly satisfied with the devices we have been using, but it is time to ramp up our use to the next level. All students have been able to request a personal print or something tied to curriculum. An item is then found online or converted from a student’s design and printed. Moving forward, and in the hope of encouraging deeper learning, print jobs will only be student created objects, or those with a direct tie to curriculum. For a full list of free tools your child could use for building their own creations, check out the following article for apps and information to help start building at home: http://www.techagekids.com/2013/06/3d-printing-modeling-tools-for-kids.html
I am passionate about keeping the creative spirit of our youngest students all the way up until they leave MCS in Grade 8. Part of my personal growth and learning will be to attend an IB PYP workshop this weekend in Vancouver where the topic is creativity. I look forward to sharing my new understanding with our staff and community upon my return.