3D Modeling and Animation at Garden Spot Middle School
In most jobs today, the employer requires people to use computers and printers so they can be competitive in the global market. The latest technology – 3D animation, 3D graphics, and 3D printing – are fast becoming a norm in the global market, and the students at Garden Spot Middle School are stepping up to meet this challenge. The students at Garden Spot Middle School attended classes on how to use 3D Graphics, 3D animation, and 3D printing in their classes made possible by a grant from the Toshiba Foundation. The grant provided over $9,000.00 to buy the 3D computer system and the training needed to get students started with the new equipment. The equipment suite was developed by Raytheon, who sponsors the Virtual Reality Education Pathfinders, or VREP Stem Education Program for students, to learn about new technology. Garden Spot Middle School is the first school in Pennsylvania to join this program and get the technology. Raytheon also donated the 3D printer to go with the system worth over $800.00 so that students can build their projects in 3D as well. The VREP program recommends using the software called Blender to make the 3D products, which was free to download. Since students have their own laptops, the software provided students time to experiment with Blender since Thanksgiving before receiving training provided by the grant.
The four trainers, which include a teacher and three high school students who currently use the VREP system in their school districts in Iowa, came to help students advance their skills more. The student instructors explained to our students that the system would test and stretch their skills in math and science. The instructors explained that they need an understanding of graphing on three axes, the x-axis, y-axis, and z-axis as well as some basic geometry. Once our students started, they found it was not as hard as it looked. They wanted to add things like color and animation to their designs and then asked how to print on the 3D printer. The 3D printer awed our students when the student trainers demonstrated how it printed using plastic thread. One student said, “The product is so light, and it was great to see it build the cube layer by layer. When can we print our projects?”
Overall, the students at Garden Spot Middle School were excited and surprised by how easy it was to work through the basic commands and how to program the 3D system and printer. However, many feel they have a long way to go to get as good as the students who taught them the basics. The student instructors told them that they have an advantage they did not have when they started. They are starting in middle school, so they have more time to learn and expand their background. Students will be using the system in their science class to complete projects and demonstrate their skills. ELANCO School District is excited for this opportunity afforded to our middle school students. If you would like more information regarding 3D animation and modeling, please e-mail Penny Braverman, 8th Grade Science Teacher, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The article and several pictures can be found at: http://www.elanco.org/news.cfm?story=84463&school=63