Lesson Ideas

World History –

We will use this technology to create 3D dioramas.  In past years, students created these in boot boxes with clay and other arts and crafts materials.  This year we are going to build them with scaled replicas.

Details here:

Goal: We want to learn about the contributions that the Egyptians made to architecture.
You and your group will choose one of these contributions, and possibilities include:
  • Temples
  • Tombs
  • Statues to show importance
  • Lighthouse
  • Library
  • Palaces
    Choose one of these forms, and research what they looked like and what they were all about. We want each group to choose a different topic so that we can put all of the projects together. Once you choose your artifact you should know location, size, time period, interesting facts and the significance for your choice.
    As a group, you may choose a model for what you have selected to be 3D printed. The files will need time to print, so please remember this while you are doing your planning.
    Your group will present your artifact as part of a class diorama. You will create an information page about your group’s artifact with what you have discovered and then we will create a QRcode for it. We will print the QRcodes, and attach them to toothpicks so the diorama will be able to “come to life” when a user “looks” at the QRcode.

Science –

Consider a twist to the typical toothpick bridge construction like those done for the science olympiad.  In this version, give students specific parameters like a part cannot be bigger than 10 X 10 millimeters.  Allow them to design 3 pieces to use in their bridge construction, print and build according to the typical lesson plan.

Consider a twist to the rubber band boat or car activity or balloon powered car, also like those done for the science olympiad.  Let your students design parts for their boats/cars.

3D dichotomous key:

A dichotomous key is a method for determining the identity of something (like the name of a butterfly, a plant, a lichen, or a rock) by going through a series of choices that leads the user to the correct name of the item. Dichotomous means “divided in two parts”.
At each step of the process of using the key, the user is given two choices; each alternative leads to another question until the item is identified. (It’s like playing 20 questions.)
For example, a question in a dichotomous key for trees might be something like, “Are the leaves flat or needle-like?” If the answer was “needle-like,” then the next question might be something like, “Are the needles in a bunch or are they spread along the branch?” Eventually, when enough questions have been answered, the identity of the tree is revealed.
When constructing a dichotomous key, you must be aware of the characteristics of the objects that you are separating. First, examine the objects closely. Write down some characteristics that are visible on the objects. Pay particular attention to those characteristics that seem to be different for groups of objects. For each named object, write down the value that the object has for each characteristic. Be aware that the more groups you try to distinguish, the more characteristics you have to note. Now you are ready to start constructing your key.
Group together objects that have similar values for each characteristic (similar size, shape, color). Determine which characteristic gives you the least number of subgroups. This is a good candidate starting point for the key. Then determine how to break down each subgroup into smaller subgroups, using couplets of characteristics. Keep working until you have separated all of your objects into their own groups.
In constructing keys, keep the following in mind:
  • Use constant characteristics rather than variable ones.
  • Use measurements rather than terms like “large” and “small”.
  • Use characteristics that are generally available to the user of the key rather than seasonal characteristics or those seen only in the field.
  • Make the choice a positive one – something “is” instead of “is not”.
  • If possible, start both choices of a pair with the same word.
  • If possible, start different pairs of choices with different words.
  • Precede the descriptive terms with the name of the part to which they apply.
Suppose you have four insects a ladybug, a housefly, a dragonfly and a grasshopper. After studying the insects, you might use wing covering, body shape, and where the wings point towards. To begin the key, you could start separating the four insects based on wing covering – “wings covered by exoskeleton” vs. “wings not covered by exoskeleton.”
The first step in the key will be organized the following way:
  1. a. wings covered by an exoskeleton
  2. b. wings not covered by an exoskeleton
Next, the statements need to lead the observer to the next step to narrow the identification further:
  1. a. wings covered by an exoskeleton ->go to step 2
  2. b. wings not covered by an exoskeleton ->go to step 3
Step 2 needs to consist of a pair of statements that will allow for the identification of the ladybug and the grasshopper:
  1. a. body has a round shape ->ladybug
  2. b. body has an elongated shape ->grasshopper
Step 3 needs to consist of a pair of statements that will allow for the identification of the housefly and dragonfly:
  1. a. wings point out from the side of the body ->dragonfly
  2. b. wings point to the posterior of the body ->housefly
Notice that there were four organisms to be identified and it only took three steps. There should be one less step than the total number of organisms to be identified in your dichotomous key.
Now you can create a new “insect” using 123D Design on the iPad. You can select your characteristics from the special menu. Once your insect is designed, prepare your file to be printed in MakerBot and submit it to your teacher for printing. Be sure to write down on paper what your key is for your bug.
Once bugs are printed, the artifacts can be swapped and students will design keys for the “specimens” they are reviewing.

Math –

This article from the news contains links to videos with several clever math class ideas – specifically math manipulatives to 3D print.