Work with Tinkercad, Codeblocks, and the Maker Community
Tinkercad and Codeblocks can serve a huge array of 2D and 3D design and fabrication needs, particularly for 1-8th grades. The "scribble" feature on iPads particularly opens up Tinkercad to 1-4th graders, 4th-8th can find problem-solving and story-telling greatness with standard Tinkercad, and 5th-8th can add computational problem solving with Codeblocks in the mix. Tinkercad can work very well for many high school students, but that's also a good age to incorporate Fusion 360.
Below are original projects I developed as a 1-12th grade maker lab teacher. They ask students to use Autodesk products to engineer solutions, explore problems, and express ideas. Some of them integrate with products like the microcontrollers, servos, and robots often used in the K-12 space. I look forward to expanding my repertoire with deeper use and knowledge of Instructables and Fusion 360 for K-12.
I have worked to engage with the educational community through various channels. I have been making videos to help teachers for years, and I have presented at conferences since the very start of my career. Twitter has also become a powerful venue for sharing and connecting. Finally, I've collaborated with companies like Ultimaker, Adafruit, and Microsoft in educating, developing products, and in writing a book.
Students might design a set for a theater or literature class, then present live or through a standard or augmented reality video.
Here's a guide for how to present a 3D model via a screen recording of an augmented reality session. This can be a powerful way for students to tell the story of their work and ideas.
Everything except the wheels of this car is 3D printed. Students design and test their crumple zone bumpers.
These Tinkercad-designed chutes take this marble run to the next level.
Here are two of the many instructional walk-through videos I have made to help teachers and students with various topics. See more related videos here.
This informal video show my discovery of the iPad's ability to capture video of augmented reality exploration of a Tinkercad model. Students could make a cell, a geologic feature, a historical monument, or other model, then tell its story through AR.
The PinBox 3000 is great cardboard kit students can make themed pinball games with. This video walks through a project, which includes my 3D printed Micro:bit case and rubber band bumper posts.
Please mouse over images to reveal more information.
Here, students used calipers to measure large screw heads, then designed wrenches to free the screws. Some iterated their designs for better fit and / or function. Read my article here.
Students design, test, and iterate wrenches
Black history celebration
Lithophanes with Codeblocks
Code you can touch
Codeblocks makes loops and variables meaningful and tangible for students as they create coded designs they can hold and take home. This opens up coding to a broader array of students. My Codeblocks how-to page.
Codeblocks facilitates making code tangible
See your surroundings
This project asked fifth graders to use their growing skills with Tinkercad to model an element from the school's church. A task like this gets students to really see architectural features of the spaces they inhabit on a daily basis and may not have truly seen.
Who are you?
This project used scans created with the Structure Sensor attached to an iPad. Students combined their scan with a Codeblocks design in standard Tinkercad, and this allowed them to depict a facet of their unique personality while using code for personal expression
3D scans, Tinkerad, and Codeblocks
Tinkercad-created spinners and obstacles added character and action to this pinball game. Programmable LEDs and a servo arm escalated the mayhem.
3D prints with pinball
I created this guide for using Tinkercad and Codeblocks to make lithophanes for 3D printing.
An Instructables-like resource page I created
Wear your code
Forget Under Armour and Nike; students can code and wear their own designs. And, how about fabricating for a cause? Raise money for a food bank, animal shelter, climate initiative, or other project by selling amazing shirts.
Creating designs for 2D incorporation into T-shirts with Codeblocks
Import box designs to Tinkercad for combination with Tinkercad and / or Codeblocks designs. Laser cut, glue, and achieve glory.
Take designs from Tinkercad and / or Codeblocks, and combine them with box design apps for laser cutting
These boxes embody aspects of 7th graders' identities. Some incorporate 3D printed designs that help tell the individual's story.
Each compartment of these laser-cut boxes tells a story
Crumple zone testing
Students studied the physics of car crashes, then they got to design plug-in crumple zone bumpers in order to dissipate the impact energy of a CO2-powered, 3D printed car I designed. Design, crash, iterate, crash again! See the video.
Crumple zones that plug into a CO2-powered car
Students combined research, writing, Tinkercad, and presentation skills in this project that asked them to understand the various needs for life off-world.
Students research life on Mars, then create Martian cities
Laying out a city center with randomly-generated building heights is a challenge, but adding roofs to those random buildings really brings on the right kind of productive struggle.
Random building heights create a challenge
Time to code
Codeblocks can produce a 2D or 3D designs for fabrication. Students create useful and beautiful pieces for the home.
Combine a clock mechanism with Codeblocks
Code you can send
Codeblocks' SVG export meets a paper cutter, and the result is custom cards that can be sent, given, or sold for a cause. How-to video here.
Codeblocks and a paper cutter machine lets students create cards
Code you can bling
Codeblocks brings the bling when users create jewelry from code
3D printed and laser cut jewelry
8th graders nested continuous servos in a 3D printed design to make a robot controlled by a Circuit Playground Express microcontroller.
Tinkercad facilitates a custom servo mount
I designed this chariot-like contraption for our classroom set of Sphero robots, and this brought the dimension of art creation to our robotics.
Turning a Sphero robot into a chariot
Rocket fin engineering
2nd graders launched this Tinkercad-designed rocket first without fins, then with fins they engineered. The fin collar allowed us to easily integrate and iterate their cardboard fins. Please see video here.
Tinkercad-designed rocket and fin collar
Second graders had trouble iterating their code for Bee Bots because they couldn't remember it. These custom tiles solved that problem, and they also opened up accessibility to more learners. Please see video here.
These coding tiles lets 1st graders boss their bots
Some students have trouble understanding the moveable orientation point and degree system of Sphero robots. These custom rings let them get a visual and tactile understanding of their robots.
A Tinkercad solution for a classroom challenge
An 8th grader designed this earring / necklace set for her mother.
Bring the bling with custom jewelry
This spare battery holder solved a real-world problem and involved design, testing, and iteration. What more can students create and optimize?
A unique spare battery holder
Making a case
The Hummingbird Duo didn't have a case, so I made one to help with classroom wear and tear. Birdbrain's new boards now come in a case.
Custom cases to protect classroom equipment
Some screens and devices, like the Micro:bit, use an X, Y coordinate system in which 0, 0 is in the upper-left. This custom game helped kids get comfortable with a different coordinate system.
A new spin on an old favorite