Today, Mrs. Kelly Hocking brought her Kindergarten class to the library to begin 3D printing their creations that they made with the Blokify app on iPad. It has been a few weeks since they made their creations. After they left the creating session, 5th graders helped email all of the files to me. We put them into Makerware, made them smaller, and sliced the files for 3D printing. All of the files went onto the SD card to be ready to print.
Today, they all sat in front of the 3D printer. We spent some time talking about what a 3D printer is and looked at some of the creations it had made. We also talked about the safety of not touching the printer while it is printing due to the heat and the fact that bumping the printer could mess up the print.
Finally, we cued up a file on the screen and the student came up to press the M to start the print.
They loved watching the build plate raise to the top. There were even oohs and ahhhs as the printer was heating. Once the printing started, we let one student at a time come up to peek inside and see what 3D printing looks like. They were all amazed.
Mrs. Hocking is working with all of these students to stretch their imaginations. They are going on a virtual field trip to Boston over the next few weeks and along the way they are virtually stopping in each state and learning something about that state along the way. For example, next week we will read the book Suryia and Roscoe: The True Story of an Unlikely Friendship and visit the sanctuary where they live in Myrtle Beach South Carolina. Mrs. Hocking is having the class imagine packing a virtual suitcase that they can put anything in. Today, they want to add the Makerbot to their suitcase.
These students are also planning out imaginary gardens in their minds. Their Blokify creations will eventually find a spot in those imaginary gardens and students will imagine what it’s like to go inside of their Blokify creations. They will create art and stories to accompany these 3D printed sculptures in their imaginary gardens. I always love the imagination and creativity that Mrs. Hocking brings to life in her classroom.
Over the next few days, the Blokify creations will continue to be printed until all 21 are done. Then, the imagination and creating of stories will begin.