Our students had an opportunity to do some real world problem solving when the Rotary Club granted our classroom a 3D printer. We were working on understanding volume and surface area and we decided to bring it to life. Students designed their own 3D designs and found the volume and surface area. Once they could prove their thinking about the volume and surface area was correct using illustrations and words they got their ticket to print. Students went from being disengaged and resistant to math to being enthusiastic and asking to work on their 3D designs at home.

Building a growth mindset is a huge part of our math curriculum and the 3D printer project was no different. Some designs printed as blobs. Others looked like neon dental floss.  But some were successful! We have some theories about why some were more successful than others. Designs with holes in the middle seemed less successful. We also noted that the printer doesn’t like being bumped or on an uneven surface. At one point the printer was completely clogged and all printing halted! We had to call in some experts to help us take it apart and diagnose the issue. Our printer is back up and running and we are excited to see what we can accomplish this year!
Written by Kyra Dulmage - New Durham Intermediate Team