As teaching becomes more of an individualized practice teachers have to find ways to adapt lessons to accommodate all their students. As someone who has difficulty paying attention in class and constantly fidgeting I have found a need to constantly have something in my hands. I have heard about toys and fidget cubes that are supposed to help with this issue but have never had the opportunity to buy one. This was something I thought I might be able to solve using a 3d printer. I spent the weekend working on a design based on images I had seen online and my own typical movements when I fidget. Using the program Sketch up I designed a rectangular box with a number of different coping methods. I have since taken this design separated the pieces and began printing. The printer has proven to be more temperamental then expected but I hope by the end of the week to have a functioning prototype of the the fidget device. Though seeing the printing in the real world I have already started planning a second edition to this device. One that is more streamlined and able to fit into a pocket.
I have been using myself as an example here but this is a similar process that a student could go through. The project itself has help promote self learning and research as I developed a design and looked at many different styles of fidget devices. It also has long term effects, if proven successful it will provide me with a device that will help me focus in other classes in the future. It is also a project that can be done by virtually any age group. CBC recently wrote and article on a teacher that used 3D printing technology with a grade six class to study the physics of flight. This is another example of how 3D printing is making it’s way into schools and programs are being developed with the new technology in mind. Again showing an example of how 3D printing is being used by classrooms to push learning to the limits and design new curriculum around the tools and materials that are at the leading edge of today’s society. Helping to better prepare our students for the future. Not to mention it is pretty cool!