As a teacher and librarian, there have been many moments that make me love teaching and working with young people even more than the day before. These moments bring happy, excitement, and continue to inspire me.
I love it when we get to experience moments that bring even more of this than others.....those moments that you just want to bottle up forever.
These moments include the voices of students. The moments when they create, collaborate, connect, teach, and advocate to have a voice in their own learning and education. The moments when you see passion and excitement in their faces. The moments when they are happy and don't want to leave.
In the last three weeks, there has been lot of curiosity, creativity, and inspiration in the air within the library.....and the constant voice of our students.
You see, about three weeks ago this somewhat small, rectangular black box with red letters on the side spelling out MakerBot found a home in our library. This is responsible for this new voice that I have heard.
In January when our DonorsChoose project Please Help Us Put A Makerbot 3D Printer In Our Library got funded by wonderful friends from around the country, I had something very special come along with the news.
His name is Luke. He is a sophomore at Van Meter. I knew Luke before but it was more just passing in the hallway and seeing him in the library picking something out every now and then.
I was walking back to the library on that day and there he was. Luke had heard the news of the 3D printer. He was talking super fast and asking me all kinds of questions about the MakerBot. Questions like...
"Is it the MakerBot Replicator 2? Or the new MakerBot Replicator 5th Generation? What colors of filament did you get? Will it come straight to the library to you? When will it come?"
And then there was this question...
"Do you think I could help you? Could I take it out of the box? Could I teach everyone how to use it?
I knew why we were getting the 3D printer. I heard it in Luke's voice that day.
Later in the month, our MakerBot 3D printer was delivered to school. I happened to see the box in the office and went to find Luke. He was super excited and found someone to help him get it to the library.
It was so fun seeing him walk through the door with the MakerBot....He was happy, proud, and of course just dying to get it out of that box.
And when the others in the library saw the box, they couldn't wait to help too!
Luke quickly read the MakerBot user manual.....well, I made him slow down and make sure he got it started correctly with all of the steps.
Soon it was plugged in,
One of the fourth graders grabbed the iPad in the library to record Luke and the first thing being printed.
They also had their iPads so were able to capture video and pictures individually too. They couldn't wait to use these and write about the MakerBot on their Kidblogs.
Thingiverse and started finding things to print too. He did a lot of research and reading at home on his MacBook, so was ready when he came to school in the morning.
Luke started printing a variety of different objects. A dog....
a basketball court and hoop for the younger ones to play in the library.
Mr. Barck, our industrial technology teacher, comes into the library every day to see what is happening and being created. Julia, who is an eighth grader and in one of his classes right now, is going to use Tinkercad to create something of her very own to print.
His classes will be coming in to use the printer when they want....and I know Chriss will be using it for himself as well.
I have created a PBL with our 5th graders incorporating the Winter Olympics and 3D printer. After they research the Olympics, they will be designing and creating new Olympic symbols to share with classmates and others.
This is just the start of the grade level projects. My goal is for each grade K-5 to be participate in a PBL project with the 3D printer and create something collaborative before the end of the school year.
And as for Luke, his love for 3D printing is definitely growing as he learns, designs, and creates more and more each day.
On Friday, he found this cute little octopus that holds SD cards. This one took a few hours to print. As it was printing, Luke and I decided to create a printing log in a Google Doc.
By the end of the day, Luke had titled it "Let's Build With Luke" Printers Log and had all of the information set up in a table that he was going to collect for each build.
It was very important for him to get pictures and video, so he made a space for those elements at the top.
And he had a GREAT idea for the video part....A true place for his voice to be heard!
Luke wanted to start a 3D printing show called Let's Build With Luke. He will record a video or "Printers Log" for each build he creates using the MakerBot.
He is going to create a new YouTube Channel called Let's Build With Luke too.
The video above is the introduction to Let's Build With Luke.
And here is the first of many Printer's Log's Luke will record.
This is one of my favorite moments from the last seven years as the teacher librarian.
Not only is the 3D printer bringing so much to Luke, but Luke is bringing so much to all of us at Van Meter.
He is going to make such an important impact as he learns more and more.....and as he helps me work with the classes and other individual students. He is the expert and inspires all of us to learn along with him.
I am happy he has this Makerspace in the library to be himself, to shine,
and to have the voice to say...
We need to give these opportunities to all of the young people that we work with every single day.