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3D Design by Kevin Jones, Technology Teacher and Director

One of the big challenges of teaching technology is that the “products” we create with it are often intangible and virtual. The presentations, documents, and 3-dimensional models we create are left behind on the computers or Internet when we leave for the day. There is typically nothing we can touch, hold, or use in the “real” sense of the physical world.

To address that, and to complement the Level Up Village project that Tim Allen wrote about last week in this newsletter, every 1st-8th Grade student at Hope is creating their own unique 3D model using CAD (Computer-Aided Design) software in the computer lab. As these designs have been created, I have assisted students in using one of our four 3D Printers to create a tangible object that the students can take home.

I have been in the technology field for 30 years, and I have never seen enthusiasm and joy that compares to that on the faces of our students as they watch their models being created by the printer in the physical world, and get to hold them in their hands when complete. Their creations have been inspiring, and have had a wide variety of designs. Examples include nameplates and plaques, trophy holders, houses, sculptures, tools, and multiple-part designs with moving pieces. As we might expect from our generous and thoughtful students, many of these items are gifts created for siblings, parents, or other family members. The assignment has been a challenging and rewarding one, and we have all learned a great deal during the process of creating these pieces.