In Science we had gone on a field trip to the Laurel Creek Conservation Area where we explored animal habitats. One of the activities the students participated in involved learning about animal skulls and teeth and how those characteristics help the animals survive. Many of the students started thinking about the knowledge they had gained and how they could apply what they learned in order to create their own animal skull. They talked about their ideas feverishly and wanted to start getting their ideas out of their heads and into Tinkercad to make their thoughts come to life. It was great to hear the students talk about their ideas and how they were connected to what they learned on the trip. Some of them planned out their thinking and what they wanted to do and other students just started creating and then demonstrated their understanding based on what they had learned. They all had the same goal but didn't all go about getting there the same way. As they worked on creating an artifact of their learning I questioned them, provided them with feedback, and explored their wonders with them.
Here are some photos of one of the skulls that were printed:
As you can see, the student had some issues with the top teeth of his skull. This led to questions about how to design in a way that would avoid this. One student suggested designing the top and bottom of the skull separately and then putting them together after printing. Another student suggested having more of a closed mouth where top teeth and bottom teeth could overlap in ways that would allow the printer to do its job but not ruin the aesthetics of the artifact. Lots of great discussion and new learning, both of which are a teachers dream!
We used social media to tweet the Conservation Area about the skull that was created and they asked if they could have a photo. This is what we sent them: