We love seeing all the great ideas teachers are coming up with for challenging their students with design tasks using Makers Empire’s 3D design software. Here are some of our favourite ideas for Grade 6 students.
1. Iconic Landmarks
Challenge students to design a landmark that represents the country they live in or a country they are learning about. We’ve seen some great examples where students have researched a particular country including its iconic landmarks and then designed their own landmark to represent what they have learned about the country. Students have also created models of actual landmarks and used these to teach students in another country about what it is like to live in Australia etc. It can be a great design exercise to closely observe features of a building, structure or other landmark and then recreate these in 3D.
2. Push and Pull
Ask students to represent a scientific concept with a 3D design. We’ve seen a great example where students were asked to design something that represent the concept of forces involving a push and a pull. The teacher used these models in her assessment of the students’ understanding of the concept.
3. Epic Fails
Why not use the many ‘fail’ videos that are so popular on the internet as scenarios for students to design solutions for. We know a teacher who selected a number of appropriate videos and asked the students to design something that would help stop the problem from happening again. Also a great way to talk about the role of failure in having a growth mindset as a learner.
4. What if…?
Present students with a ‘what if?’ scenario and ask them to create a 3D representation of their ideas. How creative and imaginative can they be?
What if there was no gravity on Earth? What if you had a billion dollars? What if you were 3 metres tall?
5. Board Games
Design a board game for a younger class that has at least one 3D printed component. The board game needs to help the younger students with something they are currently learning at school.
6. Phone problem
I use the GPS app in my mobile phone to help me navigate while I am driving. If I put my phone on the console, I need to look down to see it and take my eyes off the road. Design a solution to help me use my phone’s GPS safely.
7. Capacity problem
The container has a capacity of 60 cm cubed. Use blocker to make as many containers as you can that fit this description.
8. Solve a problem
Find out what daily life is like for people with a particular disability or health problem. Develop empathy by understanding how other people experience particular situations. Identify a specific problem and design something that will help solve the problem. We’ve seen special cups for people with Parkinson’s Disease, clips that help Asthmatic people keep their medication close at hand during sports and sensory toys for children with Autism.
9. Get organised
How can students use their design skills to get organised for learning? Having their equipment organised and easily accessible is a great start. Challenge them to design an organiser for all of their stationery supplies. This is a great design challenge because it presents genuine design criteria – everything needs to fit, the items need to balance without falling over etc. It also requires accurate design and measurement but allows for creative and original ideas.
10. Enterprise Day
Many schools have some kind of Enterprise Day where students are responsible for designing a product or service that they sell or provide during a special day or fundraising event at the school. What if students designed a 3D printed product to sell on Enterprise Day? How would they find out what would be popular? Who would their targeted audience be? How would they advertise and market their product? What is the budget and how will they make sure their product makes a profit? Could they offer to design personalised products such as key chains or jewelry?
Makers Empire’s Lesson Ideas are free, quick and easy ideas to get you started with 3D design and printing. We hope you enjoyed this post.
Mandi Dimitriadis, DipT. is an experienced classroom teacher who recognises the power of technology to enhance teaching and improve educational outcomes. Mandi has extensive experience with curriculum development and learning, having previously developed programs for the Australian Government’s Department of Education. She is passionate about Design Thinking and how best to prepare today’s students for the future.
Makers Empire: Better learning by design
Makers Empire helps K-8 teachers teach STEM/STEAM concepts, design thinking principles and 21st century learning skills using 3D printing. Our pioneering 3D solutions for schools — 3D Learning Program and Learning by Design Course — include 3D modelling software, over 100 curriculum-aligned lesson plans and professional development. Makers Empire is used by thousands of teachers and hundreds of thousands of students in Australia, the USA, Asia and Europe. Join our community today!
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