3D modeling for the study of volumes? " Yes we can! "

4th year (CM1) primary school students identify 3D printing as the ideal solution to their educational approach… and build their own printer!

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Automated English translation - (sometimes hilarious) mistakes can creep in! ;)

Students of 4e year (CM1) of elementary school identify 3D printing as the ideal solution to their educational approach ... and build their own printer!

At École branchée, we often receive emails from teachers inviting us to find out about the projects they have carried out in class. Sometimes, the high volume of requests does not allow our small team to follow up as we would like ... In the following case, I must admit that I am particularly delighted that this professor has agreed to describe to us in more detail his process, because it turns out to be a truly exceptional experience! We are particularly happy to share it with you today!

Students identify 3D printing as the ideal process

During the last school year, CM1 students (class of 4e elementary school) of the Roche des Grées elementary school, in Méssac in Brittany (France) have embarked on a vast transdisciplinary project crossing mathematics, plastic arts and technology. They have indeed enriched their study of volumes in mathematics with a work of 3D modeling, which gradually led them to design their own chess pieces by themselves.

"The innovative aspect in this project is that a project approach that wants to be exhaustive leads students to identify the needs, the necessary tools, to imagine how to design the objects they have modeled in 3D ”, estimates the professor, Mr. Erwan Vappreau. Indeed, they went through clay, fimo, plaster, but research carried out in parallel quickly highlighted 3D printing as an ideal process. But now, the class did not have access to a 3D printer ...

“No 3D printer? What if we made one? "

In the category There are no problems! : "What if we made one?" »Spontaneously suggested the pupils. The feasibility study showed that it was a very delicate adventure. In fact, self-assembly machines require a good basic knowledge, the associated educational tools are non-existent, and they are generally machines whose assembly cannot be left in the hands of children… No?

Never mind… this machine had to be reinvented, and the associated tools, designed. This is exactly what they did.

To achieve this, Mr. Vappreau has partnered with the fablab of the Planète Sciences association, focused on actions in education and scientific culture, the " Plascilab », To Ris-Orangis. Several months of work later, the "WW" was born, the WONDER WOODEN (a "wooden wonder" that they all find very pretty!).

Thanks to it, the students were able to design their chess pieces from A to Z by assembling their own 3D printer from the prototype, both surprisingly in its simplicity and in its performance. The assembly in elementary class of a 3D printer prototype is therefore a first, which the students were perfectly able to appropriate through the implementation of a project methodology and elaborate teamwork. to make them as independent as possible.

A machine open source, simple, affordable and efficient, expected to evolve

“My students, after this first experience, contribute to the development of a version 2 of the machine, which will be installed again in my class next year to develop a similar project, but more oriented towards geography, the architecture and art, themes proposed by the pupils themselves who have become familiar with this universe ”. It is therefore to be continued ...

This machine was designed to be very economical (less than 450 €) and adapted to the capacities of the pupils within the framework of the construction of a technological object (integrated into the programs). It therefore has a strong educational potential while being reliable, robust and of a very respectable size. It is also accompanied by a whole educational documentation tested in class for those who would like to know more about this adventure and maybe even get started.

The device (printer and associated educational resources) is in open source. Its creator hopes that it will be quickly developed and adapted to other classes, including high school, and not only in France! For more information, you can contact Mr. Erwan VAPPREAU, school teacher, specializing in scientific projects: spiderwan@free.fr

Student project site

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About the Author

Audrey Millerhttps://ecolebranchee.com
Editor of École branchée magazine, Audrey holds a graduate degree in educational technology and a bachelor's degree in public communication. A member of the Professional Federation of Quebec Journalists (FPJQ), she is particularly interested in news related to the professional development of teachers, information in the digital age and media education. She has been active in building bridges in the educational ecosystem since 1999. These days she is particularly involved in Edteq Association and as a member of the ACELF Communications Committee. In 2021, she was awarded the Order of Excellence in Education of Quebec. When she has free time, she is passionate about her children, rabbits, horses, good wine and ... web programming!

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