At Makers Empire, we love hearing about the clever ways schools use 3D printing and design to enhance and transform their students’ learning experience. We recently caught up with Shireen Winrow, the E-learning facilitator at Redlands School in Sydney, Australia, to discuss how they have been using Makers Empire at Redlands. A Microsoft Innovate Expert Educator, Shireen is a seasoned user of 3D printing and has been integrating the technology into the teaching practice at Redlands School for three years now. You can find her on Twitter at @shireenwin.
How have you been using Makers Empire in the classroom?
“Redlands has been using Makers Empire to support the students’ creative writing efforts. Students were asked to design a character or an object using the Makers Empire software. After this creative process, students had to justify the design attributes of their character or object in writing. Students became actively involved in the creative process which helped inform their writing process. Makers Empire is a great hook before a writing task.”
Can you describe some of the projects that the students have been doing with the Makers Empire program?
“In year 5, students learn all about the different planets and conditions of those planets. They also learn about a space rover to Mars and the features of that rover. Students were asked to follow the design thinking cycle and design a space rover for a planet of their choice. They had to draw their design and then build it in Makers Empire and write a one-page justification explaining why their rover would be suitable for the planet of their choice. We printed the rovers and students evaluated their designs.”
How have the students’ skills developed since using Makers Empire?
“(It has) granted the students a greater understanding of spatial awareness, 3D shapes, and 3D printers.”
How has Makers Empire changed your teaching practice?
“It has allowed me to use the design thinking cycle with the students.”
A big thank you to Shireen for sharing her experience using Makers Empire!
Are you a teacher using Makers Empire in the classroom? We’d love to share your story! Email us your details to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jeanette McConnell, Ph.D. is a passionate educator with a strong scientific background. She earned a bachelors degree in biochemistry at San Diego State University and went on to earn a doctoral degree in chemistry at the University of NSW. Her experience presenting science shows and workshops to children convinced her of the value of a hands-on education. She believes Makers Empire is the way to make learning hands-on and harness the power of 3D printing technology in education.