Academic journal article T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)

To 3D or Not to 3D: After Borrowing a 3D Printer and Realizing Its Potential, This Fifth-Grade Teacher Won One for His Class

Academic journal article T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)

To 3D or Not to 3D: After Borrowing a 3D Printer and Realizing Its Potential, This Fifth-Grade Teacher Won One for His Class

Article excerpt

After borrowing a 3D printer for three weeks for his fifth-grade classroom last year, Vincenzo La Ruina knew he needed to have one available all the time. While something as sophisticated as a 3D printer might seem like overkill for kids as young as fifth-graders, La Ruina had them doing some impressively creative projects.

At first, the kids at Gardiner Manor School in Bay Shore, Brooklyn. NY spent some time getting used to the technology. They experimented with the technology to print relatively simple things like a 3D rocket, ring or dog tags. La Ruina held contests in his classes to help them select what they would print. After they quickly became comfortable with their 3D printer, the list of possible projects expanded both in number and in scope.

Their design priority list included designing a logo for their school, a car, a spaceship, something you can wear, a house, a bridge, a plane, a unique shape, an animal, a pencil holder, a small monster, a plant, a robot, a boat that will float, a tree, a chair, a bowl, a sculpture, a new tool that can be used for something, and a LEGO person.

They had fully embraced 3D printing technology, and La Ruina was putting it to work and doing innovative projects with his math and art classes. I was inspired by a workshop I went to," says La Ruina. "I like the idea of kids being able to make what they want. They can articulate an idea onto a 3D printer. They can take an idea and make it 3D. I am excited to help these kids solve these problems."

Gardiner Manor School has third through fifth graders. …

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