Thursday, April 13, 2017

3D Printing Taking Hold at RAMS

Mr. Conant's social studies classes have recently been exploring their creative side by designing temples and other buildings as a culminating activity in their study of ancient Greece. Students' designs were then printed out using the RAMS 3d printer allowing students to see their designs come to life. This is a great way to increase student engagement with an authentic project that also challenges students' spatial senses and technical ability.

Students first used a number of resources to become experts on ancient Greek architecture and to conceptualize an original building design.

Then, students used Tinkercad, a free online 3d building application, to construct their design. Tinkercad has a simple interface and is being used by students at Miller, but it also is flexible enough to engage our middle school students.

Finally, students sent their creations to Mr. Steiner to be printed out on the RAMS Flashforge Creator Pro. Voila!

Friday, April 7, 2017

Speaking and Listening in the HHS Language Lab

Students in HHS Spanish and French classes make frequent use of the dedicated Language Lab for speaking and listening. The lab consists of 28 student stations that are interconnected by computer to a teacher station. Through headsets, students can participate in a number of language-related activities, such as:

  • speaking in pairs or small groups
  • practicing and review pronunciation
  • creating recordings of speaking for teacher feedback
  • practicing AP Exam-related activities. 
During these activities, teachers can listen on individuals and groups to given targeted, one-on-one feedback and correction. Teachers can also make recordings of student speaking, for later review and suggestions.

Teachers are scheduled in the lab on a rotating schedule, so that students can get as much time in the language lab as possible.

HHS Classes Incorporate Maker Space Technology

Students in HHS classes are learning to use the new Maker Space to combine academics, technology, and creativity to design and make their own interesting products.

Students in Ms. Chestna's and Ms. Rivera's Foundations of 21st Century Learning class have been learning about the process of 3D design, modeling, and printing using the school's new Maker Space 3D printers. Students learn about basic 3D design using free online software called Tinkercad. Students begin by designing customized key chains with their names on them, and then print their designs in PLA plastic. Later in the course, as a part of their culminating project, students then design, print, and iterate their own inventions.

Similarly, some HHS art classes have been using the Maker Space's vinyl cutter to create real-life products. Students in Graphic Design class use Adobe Illustrator to design one-color vinyl stickers that can be precision cut in the Maker Space. Students in Printmaking class use BoxySVG software to design precision cut silk screen masks, to be able to print posters and high-quality T-shirts.

After class, students can also use the 3D printers and vinyl cutter as a part of their own individual learning projects, both during the DSB period and after school.