Technology Integration and Enrichment at the Elementary Level

Today’s Contributor: Ragnar Rowland is a Content Interventionist at Harris Elementary.

Teaching 3D design and printing to 3rd, 4th and 5th grade students.

This year we have taken TEKS enrichment to a whole new level at Thomas G. Harris Elementary.   Students are using geometry and problem solving skills as they work designing practical items that they can use.  As part of a Donors Choose grant our campus received a new 3D printer.  Using the TINKERCAD web based program we have worked on designing items that will be useful for us.  In working with all students, I wanted to see how easy it would be to navigate and use this platform.  To do this I started in the fall a Technology Club at Harris.  In this club I first taught them graphic design and they designed posters for some of our school events.  After we finished working on graphic design I piloted with them designing and 3D printing.  This allowed me to work with the Tech club to see the hiccups and prevent any misconceptions that would arise.  Once these designs became easier for our students, I began working with all the students in grades 3-5.  3D printing and design is how Technology is shifting many industries and it is a great skill that our students get to have and be exposed to. 

Here are some of the pictures of the work that they have accomplished.

One of the prime examples of problem solving is in the phone caddy.  The student’s first design as seen in the picture with red filament ended up messing up. 

He redesigned it, and gave it a wider more solid triangular prism thereby being successful in printing and being able to use his phone cradle to hold his phone. 

This took proving questions that they asked within their group like, what do you think went wrong? What could I change in my design?  What would be better support for this?  These are the conversations that began revolving around the designs of our students.

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