Due to social distancing constraints, middle school Computer Science classes couldn't be held in their normal classroom and moved into the Junior Lounge next to the Fabrication (Fab) Lab. Being next to the 3D printers in the Fab Lab made Middle School Computer Science Teacher Cassie Nutter think about incorporating them into her classes. "Once I discovered I could combine programming with design, I soon began planning all of my lessons around the 3D printers and laser cutters, and I have never looked back," she said.
Students began with the basics, learning how to manipulate objects on their screen by creating a 3D model of their names. Then, students coded different shapes by using variables to change the parameters of each object to create snowflakes. "Some of the basic programming concepts we learned included what a loop is and when and why we use them, how variables work, and how they are different from functions," Nutter said.
Read what several fifth graders have to say about their work with the 3D printers:
During our computer class, we learned how to use a 3D printer. We printed our names and then snowflakes using code. We learned so much about computers and coding, which is a really important skill! The six of us loved 3D printing our names so much, we wanted to give everyone a chance to see their name in 3D. That sort of sparked the idea in our heads and we got to work immediately! Our organization is called 3D for Charity. We’ve even started a website! Every name sold we donate the profit to charity. We are happy to sell them to ESD students, faculty, and parents. We are all ready to give money to the community that has helped us so much and we are ready to give back to them. We thought that we could donate to a different charity each month that will all help the community! This all comes together as, to achieve, you must believe, working together is a power we must use, not abuse.
Great work, Eagles!