How Maplewood Intermediate School students study the Space Station with 3D Printing

At Maplewood Intermediate School in New York, Grade 5 students are using Makers Empire 3D printing program for a project about the International Space Station.

Lisa Hatton is an experienced teacher at Maplewood Intermediate School. She has been working with grade 5 students for six years and is always looking for new ways to engage her students.

Recently, Lisa decided to create her own design challenge and lesson plan about the International Space Station using Makers Empire 3D printing learning program.


Lesson Plan & Design Challenge: Creating a Storage Container to be Used Aboard the ISS

Intended Learning Outcomes: To successfully design and create a storage container to be used in outer space, only using the materials supplied; Makers Empire software, durable plastic and Velcro.

The lesson:

After learning about the International Space Station and the idea of gravity on Earth versus nearly no gravity in space, students needed to put their thinking caps on. In groups, students were expected to chart possible storage containers that astronauts could use in outer space. For example, food containers, waste containers, tool containers etc.

Next they needed to independently think about the container they wanted to create and design using the Makers Empire software, keeping in mind that the only additional materials they could use included Velcro and durable plastic. Hopefully the students remember that the containers and items inside need to be secured!

Design Challenge: Students were asked to choose one of the Makers Empire 3D modules to create a storage container that could be used aboard the International Space Station.

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What worked well?

The engineering teams were hard at work throughout the whole process. Space exploration has the natural ability to excite the young mind on its own. Students thought deeply and engaged in problem solving. They focused their thinking around storage containers that could help to eventually extend life in outer space and maybe even one day on Mars.

Student Quotes

“This was the best project ever!” “The design challenge made me think outside the box” “This is something I would love to learn more about”.

Where to next?

Our next journey will lead us to design a toy shop using the Toy Maker module. First, students will create their toy shop in writing before they begin their digital designs. In addition to using 3D software, we are coding in my class. After surveying my class, their first choice is 3D printing. We are also in the process of exploring character design using the character module.

Thank you to Maplewood Intermediate, Lisa and her students for telling us about their enjoyable experiences. Teachers can now create and share their lesson plans through the Makers Empire lesson plan builder! We look forward to more great classroom ideas. Teachers love using the Makers Empire 3D Learning Program to promote the 4Cs, collaboration, critical thinking, communication and creativity!

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