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What happens when a humanities-focused student meets the latest technology?

The students of Mackintosh Littleton recently received the gift of a 3D printer. As teachers began exploring the multitude of ways to incorporate the printer into the curriculum, students were already diving into the design cycle and coming up with their own ideas.

The very first student-generated design was created by Delia, a seventh grader. Even though Delia has heretofore identified as more of an arts and humanities student than a “techie”, the 3D printer captured her imagination. Within 24 hours of seeing the printer, Delia had loaded Google’s SketchUp on her computer, taught herself the elements of Computer Aided Design, and come up with two designs: a small Scottie-like dog and a mug. Barely able to contain her excitement, Delia watched as her designs were printed before her eyes.

Delia took her designs to the next level as she reflected upon what went well and what could be improved. As the dog was printing, Delia noticed that gravity was having unexpected effects on the printing process of the dog’s face. She immediately went back to her design to play with curves and supports to improve the printing for next time. Similarly, her mug surprisingly printed with no bottom- so she went back to the drawing board or in this case back to the computer!

Mackintosh Academy’s integrated approach to learning provides students of all interests the opportunities to explore the connection between all disciplines. “I always liked drawing, so I thought it would be very exciting to draw something I could print in three dimensions!” says Delia. Who knows where this combination of her interest in art and her new interest in 3D technology will take her?

Mackintosh Academy Littleton