This is one of the projects that I am most proud of. We took a group of 6th graders and we let them design their own Kiddush cup. Each student was responsible for his cup from the beginning to completion. From modeling their own Kiddush cup based on their own taste and preferences to eagerly printing it with the 3D printer.
See the video below:
The project started with an introduction about the three dimensions, or in short: 3D. We had an interesting theoretical discussion about a world with only two dimensions – how it would look and why it is impossible.
While the students realized the necessity of three dimensions, we had a conversation about printers – what are we be able to print and how printing changed the world around 500 years ago in the global spread of the printing press.
The next step was to describe the process of 3D printing. This technology spreads out quickly but still has limitations that the students should be aware of. We watched short clips of different 3D printers, and saw how houses can be built with 3D humongous printers. Even a 3D heart was printed recently in Israel!
At this point, the students were ready to hear about our unique project. In our school, each student has their own device. We used a popular system called Tinkercad, which has shown itself to be a kid-friendly and very intuitive. For teachers, Tinkercad is ideal since it gives the teachers a management tool for classes, which the teacher can edit (“tinker”) and help the student.
An essential part throughout the learning process is the fun and creativity involved when students play around with the apps. Once the have finished creating their first model – the sky was the limit. The kids loved playing around, creating models and building their own 3D models, even when they knew that their models wouldn’t be printed.
The students used their imagination, creativity and innovation. For them it was a great opportunity to create something from scratch, to relate that to their Jewish world, and to get a useful Kiddush cup.
We all said L’chaim together!