Blog Post #4: Maker Tools and Technologies

I would use 3D technology in a third grade lesson about Force, Motion, and Energy, where students have the opportunity to create their own working Rube Goldberg machine using different types of simple machines. This long-term, interactive project would serve as a summative assessment of a unit on simple machines, allowing the students to demonstrate their knowledge of how simple machines work together.

Science 3.2 The student will investigate and understand simple machines and their uses. Key concepts include a) purpose and function of simple machines; b) types of simple machines; c) compound machines; and d) examples of simple and compound machines found in the school, home, and work environments.

Principles of Makification:

Creation: This activity would focus on the “making” aspect of makification as students are able to design parts of their simple machines using Tinkercad, print the parts using 3D printers, and put the parts together to create a working Rube Goldberg machine.

Iteration: The principle of iteration would play a large role in this activity because students may need to make alterations to their 3D designs in order to ensure that all parts of the Rube Goldberg machine are working properly. If something does not print correctly or if the simple machines chosen do not efficiently perform the task, students may have to re-evaluate and alter their designs.

Sharing: This activity would focus on the principle of sharing because students would be able to work in groups to create their Rube Goldberg machines. Not only would students be able to bring their own expertise and creativity to this project, but they would also gain experience collaborating with others in order to create something using maker tools and technologies and demonstrating their knowledge of a particular topic. In addition to collaboration within the classroom, students may have the opportunity to interact with online maker communities, as mentioned in the reading, to download others’ artifacts, learn more about maker tools and technologies, and share their artifacts and designs.

Autonomy: The Rube Goldberg activity would allow students to have autonomy over their creations because they would be able to make decisions as a group throughout the design process, including what task will be performed, what simple machines will be used, the design and appearance of the machine, and the overall functionality of the machine. Furthermore, allowing students to have autonomy and giving them time to design and create their machine ensures that they will stay motivated throughout the whole process.

Technology SOLs:

  • C/T 3-5.1 Demonstrate an operational knowledge of various technologies.
  • C/T 3-5.2 Identify and use available technologies to complete specific tasks.
  • C/T 3-5.10 Communicate effectively with others (e.g., peers, teachers, experts) in collaborative learning situations.
  • C/T 3-5.11 Apply knowledge and skills to generate innovative ideas, products, processes, and solutions.