3D Printing in the Classroom

September 29th, 2011 by Lizabeth Arum 3 comments »

I spent the summer helping Makerbot Industries develop educational curriculum. The start of this ambitious project can be found at http://curricum.makerbot.com. This is just the beginning, and I would love for other educators to contribute their ideas and lesson plans so that there is a community of teachers that can explore 3D printing in their classrooms and inspire their students to create, invent and engage in the engineering process.

I currently have two Thing-O-Matics in my classroom and my students are using a variety of software to create their own models: 3dtin.com, tinkercad.com, sketchup, blender and openscad. Yesterday I came across local-guru.net‘s CookieCutter-editor and I can’t wait to make NY State, some tessellations and maybe even symbolic representations of poetry and narratives. Anyone want an Edger Allen Poe Raven cookie?

Don’t know about 3D printing, or think it would be difficult to incorporate in your curriculum? Then check out last night’s Make Live episode.

Tinkercad Demonstration

Recent readings

July 4th, 2011 by Lizabeth Arum No comments »

Just finished reading Dan Ariely’s The Upside of Irrationality. Significant chapters in terms of teaching were Chapters 1, 2 and 3: Paying More for Less: Why Big Bonuses Don’t Always Work, The Meaning of Labor: What Legos Can Teach Us about the Joy of Work, and The IKEA Effect: Why We Overvalue What We Make.

Some of the take-aways include:

  • Encourage students on their efforts. Everyone works better if their work is appreciated
  • Students enjoy work if they can see a purpose and perhaps even get an opportunity to show off their efforts
  • Students enjoy the act of creativity and making. Even if they are following instructions, the fact that they are part of the process creates a stronger relationship with the product.

More servo projects

July 4th, 2011 by Lizabeth Arum No comments »

Just got a moment to post these servo projects from last semester. Students were given the challenge to create a drawing machine or a cuckoo clock type device. These are some of the solutions the students came up with:
Cuckoo Clock solution
An automata
An egg automata
Another automata
A drawing machine
A bird automata
Another drawing machine

Day 8: Cigar Box Synthesizers

June 28th, 2011 by Lizabeth Arum No comments »

Another David Erik Nelson Snip, Burn, Solder, Shredinspired project.

Day 7: Jitterbot and Soft Resistor

June 28th, 2011 by Lizabeth Arum No comments »

Two projects today. The first inspired by David Erik Nelson’s book Snip, Burn, Solder, Shred. The second is a modified Drawdio circuit.

Day 6: Dark Detector, an Annoyatron

June 28th, 2011 by Lizabeth Arum No comments »

An alarm sounds when it gets

dark.

Day 4: Voodoo Doll

June 28th, 2011 by Lizabeth Arum No comments »

A soft circuit. Stick a needle through the heart to light up the eyes.

Day 3: Tremolo

June 28th, 2011 by Lizabeth Arum No comments »

A tremolo is the rapid oscillation in volume that gives the guitar its cool vibrating sound.

The heart of the Blinkie Tremolo effect is a homemade optoisolator made from an LED and a Light Dependent Resistor (LDR). The LDR controls the volume of the audio signal. As the LED shines on the LDR, the resistance drops and the audio comes through. As the LED dims, resistance increases and the sound fades. The 555 timer circuit rhythmically pulses the LED, which in turn, pulses the volume, giving you the vibration effect.

This project was inspired by David Erik Nelson’s book Snip, Burn, Solder, Shred

Day 2: Junk Guitars and Amps

June 28th, 2011 by Lizabeth Arum No comments »

Inspired by David Erik Nelson’s book Snip, Burn, Solder, Shred and NYCResistor’s Ranjit Bhatnagar, workshop attendees made piezo pick ups, junk guitars and mini-amps.

Day 1: The Joule Thief

June 28th, 2011 by Lizabeth Arum No comments »

Joule thief allows you to boost the voltage of a dying battery.

Combining the following sources:

  • Instructables, Cat Burglar Joule Thief, January 26, 2008
  • Makezine:The Sympathy Doll
  • Makezine:Joule Thief
  • http://blog.makezine.com/archive/2008/01/led_softie.html
  • http://www.emanator.demon.co.uk/bigclive/joule.htm

workshop participants made joule thieves, then embedded them in cute animals.