3D wand prototype

QA’s Elements 3D Printing Design and Engineering Class implements the STREAM and Design Thinking Practices, crucial for twenty first century skills. In this class we begin by discussing the design thinking process before execution. Here at Quantum Academy we want the students to understand the real world practices when designing, engineering, or fabricating a product. Why? Design thinking is an empathy based method of solving problems. It fits with Quantum Academy’s motto of, “Ask questions, seek answers.” Our process begins with Empathy (learn to understand things from another perspective), Define (define the problem and create a needs statement), Ideate (generate many ideas for solutions to the problem), Prototype (create a product or model using any materials available), and Test, Reflect, Refine (test your prototype. Observe and learn from the user. Reflect about failures and successes).

In one task students create bubble wands. First they came up with a unique design that represented who they are. Secondly, they drew up a blueprint of their idea on graph paper, and added measurements from different views (top, left, right). Next, they used TinkerCAD, an online 3D printing software program that allows them to generate their model. Finally, they sent their files to the teacher, to send to the 3D printers. At the end, students were able to test their designs.