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Bradenton, FL
Bekka Stasny Awarded 3D Printer Grant For Electa Lee Students

By TJ McCueThursday, November 20, 2014
3D Printing

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I have long believed that we could solve our energy crisis if we simply found a way to tap into the latent energy found in educators. If you are feeling down or tired, just hang out with a teacher and by osmosis, you will feel more upbeat and confident. Teachers and their students are some of the most energizing people to be around.

As most 3DRV readers know, we had the privilege of presenting to 350+ 7th graders earlier this fall in Bradenton, Florida. This school, including its teachers and students, was simply amazing and Bekka Stasny who invited us there sent me a note this week that they won a grant to purchase a 3D printer! She shared a bit of the grant-process with me:

The first grant I wrote and was awarded was through the Manatee Education Foundation. “The mission of the Manatee Education Foundation is to provide funding for innovative programs and enhanced educational opportunities for the teachers and students of Manatee County Public Schools beyond allocated state dollars.” This fall I was awarded $500 towards the purchase of a 3D printer and supplies.

In October, I applied for another grant through TERRA, Inc. (Technology Education Resource and Redesign Alliance) ‘TERRA's Mini-Grants are intended to support school-based projects in pre-K through 12 that are consistent with TERRA's mission, and have a positive impact on education by using technology. These grants should fund initiatives that utilize technology in a new and innovative way or sustainability initiatives seeking to encourage and support creative, local environmental education and stewardship activities.’”

In her grant proposal, she highlights our 3DRV visit and we’re quite honored by that. This second grant was more substantial and will allow Bekka to purchase a higher quality printer.

With the increased focus on testing, students must have the opportunity, time and resources to be independent inventors, artisans, tinkerers, engineers and creators. I am requesting funding for a 3D printer and Maker Space supplies, which will allow my students to design and create their own 3D objects using their science knowledge and imagination.

I began introducing 3D technology to my students when we had the opportunity to have guest speaker TJ McCue stop at our school as part of his 3DRV tour. TJ McCue, journalist and 3D enthusiast, from 3DRV came and talked to the 7th graders students about the advancements in 3D technologies. McCue is currently touring the U.S. discussing the way things are designed and are made and how those changes are impacting businesses, society and education. Until we receive a 3D printer, students will use the free Autodesk software [such as 123D Catch, but all (or almost all) Autodesk software is now available free to educational users] to explore 3D technologies available. Students are able to sculpt, scan and create in 3D using iPad and computer apps available through Autodesk. Having a 3D printer will bring this project full circle by allowing my students to print a physical model of their 3D creations.  [LINKS and bold are mine, not Bekka's.]

I plan to measure student success by reviewing student blogs and hosting class discussions to see where students were successful in their 3D designs and where they had difficulties. Through a variety of summative and formative assessments I will monitor student learning and will adjust lessons to ensure student mastery of project objectives. I would like to have 70% of my students complete a 3D model and have a completed blog by the end of the year “Maker Faire” which will be open for school and community viewing. Models and blogs would be displayed for the entire school and local community to view and hopefully encourage more students to become producers, makers, inventors, tinkerers, creators, artisans and engineers.

In order encourage long-lasting changes to my school I am currently collaborating with the art teachers and creating curriculum for their 3D art classes. This interdisciplinary curriculum will provide a greater audience who will be impacted by this project. This curriculum will be shared with other teachers in my district and state who are interested in incorporating 3D technologies into their lessons.

Bekka Stasny has inspired me and my family to make sure that we continue to reach out to schools, particularly teachers, to try and help increase adoption and understanding about 3D technologies. We are still energized by our visit to Bekka and her students. We cannot wait to hear of their experiments and 3D prints and the great success we know they will have with whatever printer they purchase and use.

Follow along at! #3DRV

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