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Educators Unite at MakerBot’s Chicago Makeathon to Bring STEAM Lesson Plans to Life

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makerbot-logo-kickstarter-1.originalEarlier this year, MakerBot announced that their series of summer Makeathons would focus on integrating 3D printing technology into science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM) education, ultimately helping educators to develop a curriculum for their students that involves this emerging technology. Now, three STEAM Makeathons later, it seems as if MakerBot has made good on their promise, having just wrapped up their latest educational event in the city of Chicago. Prior to the two-day event hosted in the Windy City, MakerBot held their first two events in New York City and San Francisco, both of which ended up as innovative endeavors for local teachers, tinkerers, and 3D printing enthusiasts.

Their third STEAM Makeathon in Chicago proved to be no different, as educators gathered into teams to develop their own curriculum based around 3D printing technology. With the help of the MakerBot team, these participants worked to create engaging 3D printing lessons plans that will be both educational and enjoyable for students. During the latest session, attendees undertook sessions in which they learned about 3D printing, 3D design, photographing their prints, and post-processing them as well.

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The challenge started with MakerBot asking participants to take a lesson plan or activity that they’ve already integrated into their classroom, and reformat and enhance it with 3D printing technology at the helm. These 3D printing projects were then developed and presented over the course of the following two days, which were voted on according to how strong and effective of each lesson plan. At the end of the Chicago Makeathon event, two teams were selected as the winners of the challenge, both of which consisted of innovative and educational content involving 3D printing technology.

The first place winner was the team named Sphero Water Wars, who were awarded for their lesson plan entitled “H2 make it g0”. This lesson, which was developed according to the criteria of the Next Generation Science Standards and Common Core Math Standards for grades 4 and 5, asks students to create a vehicle that can attach to a Sphero hat model. The 3D printed vehicle must be able to transport 100 mL of water throughout a race course, while retaining as much water as possible. The lesson design certainly impressed the judges of the Makeathon, who awarded each member of the Sphero Water Wars team with a MakerBot Replicator 3D printer.

Sphero Water Wars winning lesson plan, “H2 make it gO”

Sphero Water Wars winning lesson plan, “H2 make it gO”

The runner-up of the Chicago Makeathon was Team Eggbert, who won second place for their lesson plan, “Egg Rescue Challenge”. For this challenge, students will be asked to create a 3D printable device that is capable of safely transporting an egg from one area to another. This particular curriculum will utilize certain engineering concepts, asking students to work against certain prescribed constraints, such as designing three interlocking parts that can all fit into a ziplock bag. Each member of Team Eggbert was awarded with an OZObot starter set and a copy of MakerBot’s educational handbook, called “MakerBot in the Classroom”.

The next MakerBot STEAM Makeathon will start on June 18 in Washington, D.C., following with the final summer event in Denver, Colorado, later on in the month. Admission for the makeathon is $50, but with it, educators have the opportunity to develop a lesson plan that will leave their students with a priceless 3D printing experience. It’s evident that, as 3D printing becomes a more integral part of our lives, students should be learning about this expansive technology, especially when it corresponds with STEAM education.

You can currently browse all of the submitted projects from these summer MakerBot Makeathon events via Thingiverse. Discuss further in the Third MakerBot 3D Printing Summer Event forum over at 3DPB.com.

[Source: MakerBot]

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