Sunday, February 9, 2014

"Project 3D Olympics"......5th Graders Research Olympics and Create New Symbols With The Makerbot 3D Printer

With the Sochi Winter Olympics starting, we all want to learn, watch, and catch little glimpses of what is happening throughout the day in Russia.  

I love watching the figure skating, skiing, and snow boarding events. When I was little we watched it together as a family and I have really enjoyed following the summer and winter Olympics throughout the years.  

The fifth graders, along with all of our students,  have been discussing the Olympics in their classrooms and after talking with one of the teachers, Kate Goodwin, about doing a research project with the kids, we decided this would be a great theme to focus on. 

Within this project there are several things I will pull from the Van Meter Fifth Grade Digital Citizenship, Technology, Information Literacy Curriculum.  These standards include....

  • Recognize digital resources that are copyright free
  • Credits author and publication for direct quotations
  • Suggest a technology tool to use to accomplish a particular task

  • Recognizes multiple formats exist for citing sources (EasyBib)
  • Conducts Internet searches using educational search engines (SweetSearch4me, NetTrekker, WebPath Express) and databases (Brittanica, etc.)
  • Reads from a variety of formats (magazines, blogs, books, eBooks, websites, etc.)                 
Next, I took a look at the Language Arts CCSS.  There are several that we could focus on with this project including....
  • W.5.2 Writing: Text Types and Purposes Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly. 
    • a. Introduce a topic clearly, provide a general observation and focus and group related information logically; including formatting, illustrations, and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension. 
  • W.5.6 Writing: Production and Distribution of Writing With some guidance and support, use technology, including the internet, to produce and publish writing as well as to interact and collaborate with others
  • W.5.7 Writing: Research to Build and Present Knowledge Conduct short research projects that use several sources to build knowledge through investigation of different aspects of a topic

After all that planning the morning before the 5th graders came to the library, I was set to introduce the new Olympic Research Project.  

I wanted them to guide what our goal would be, write their own driving questions, and decide how we would go about the research, but I had the main objective set up pretty well.  
I am also going to use Stripling's Model of Inquiry throughout the research process, so I really needed to spend time discussing the steps during the first day of our new project as well.  

As the 5th graders came into the library instead of checking out books and being ready to go with our work, something new in the library took them on a different path (check out the picture above of them look through the library office window). 

As they walked by the office window several of them saw the new MakerBot 3D printer....and it was printing something.  They knew it was coming and a lot of them have been asking over and over if it was here.  So when they caught a glimpse and heard it at work.....The fifth graders were off to see what was happening.  
Luke, who is a sophmore at Van Meter, has become our resident 3D printing expert over the last few weeks as we prepared for the MakerBot 3D printer.  Now that it is here Luke is doing an amazing job setting it up, taking care of it, getting examples printed, and exploring all of the programs we will be using with the printer.  

He gave the 5th graders a quick tour of the printer and explained how the heart was printing from a design he found on Thingiverse.  They were all sooooo excited to have it be there turn to print something too. 
After they spent a little time with Luke and the 3D printer, we all came out in the library to discuss the Olympic Research Project.  They loved the idea and were very interested in learning more and building on what they already knew about the Olympics.  

Together we brainstormed what the focus of the project would be.  They decided to research the history of the Olympics but focus on the different symbols that represent the great games.  

The fifth graders wanted to work in groups of 2 or 3 and they would write out 10 things they "wondered" about.....these would be their driving questions and focus the work they would do. 

We then talked about what they would create with this research and new knowledge....How would they "Express" what they learned?  What would be something new they could create with what they learn?  We had this amazing conversation for several minutes.....everyone participating, everyone engaged.

They would all create some type of presentation, digital story, animation, iMovie, share their research.  

There would also be a part of this PBL project that would go beyond just the research.....something that would take them outside of the box, to make a difference.  


We would use the MakerBot 3D printer and create new symbols for the Olympics.  Each group would need to develop a new symbol using a variety of 3D tools and resources, such as Tinkercad, SketchUp, and SculpFab.  

Not only would they be researching the history and symbols in this project, they would be learning about and creating with the 3D printer....

Something new to all of them.  And to me.  
We decided the project would be called 3D Project Olympics!  

Together we created the Google Doc that every group would copy within their own Google Drive to use throughout this project.  
This Google Doc would be the main place for them to write their driving questions and keep track of their investigations.  They would also use it to hold citations they created with EasyBib for all of the resources that they use.  
On the 5th Grade Symbaloo, I added a few of the resources we would be using in this project. We will add more as we go too. 
I added the new 3D Printing FUN which holds several websites and apps they will be using with the MakerBot.  

They all know how to get to the resources they would need. 

I will be adding the new Olympic Symbaloo webmix to the 5th grade webmix for this weeks work too. 
We also created a new Symbaloo webmix for everyone to share their 3D Project Olympics Google Docs to....This would keep all of the Google Docs together. You can check out the Project 3D Olympics Symbaloo webmix to follow their amazing work too.  
Everyone knew what to do so they set off to work.

They were super excited to get to the project where they could discuss, research, and create their very own 3D Olympic symbol.
I loved walking around to see how engaged and happy they were as the worked together.
They were coming up with very interesting questions to research....I couldn't wait to learn along with them.
It was also fun to see how they were using the laptops and iPads together.  Our 5th graders all have iPads of their own, which they use alongside the laptops in the library and classrooms.  
The last question the 5th graders decided they would answer was at the bottom of the Google Doc. This question would help guide their work with their new symbol and the 3D work.  

There were a lot of them who couldn't wait to get to that part of the day, which would have been the place I picked too.  
It was interesting to see how they were going about this part in all different ways.  

Gavin was looking up different skateboards and snowboards in Google Images.  He was taking them into their Google Doc. 
This group was also looking for different images and the symbolism of a circle.
Josie, Kylie, and Lucy decided to grab some makers, pencils, and paper to sketch out their ideas.
 They are going to scan this into their Google Doc to keep everything together.
The fifth graders could have worked for the rest of the afternoon.  The idea that Kate and I had that morning really turned into something special and meaningful for our young people.

And they would be learning so many valuable skills along the way.

Projects like this are definitely fun for all of us and I can't wait to see where they take it over the next several weeks.

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