There’s an awesome project happening in two of the 5th grade classrooms at The School at Columbia University right now. To supplement their study of Ancient Greece, Dena Rothstein and Heather Lortie, are having their students collaborate with students from The Marymount School across Central Park on the Upper East Side. (The School is located on the Upper West Side…) Both groups are designing 3D Greek temples using Tinkercad and sharing their online files with a group at the other school to tweak, customize, and ultimately build (“print”) in our 3D printers. The humor of us being able to say that we are literally outsourcing to the East is not lost on us.
Teachers supporting this collaboration at The School are Heather, Dena, Greg Benedis-Grab (@gbenedisgrab), and Don Buckley (@donbuckley) with a lot of support from Cristina Martinez (@finlaycm) and a little support from me. On the UES of the park, Jaymes Dec (@jaymesdec) and Lesa Wang oversee Marymount’s particpation in the project. Jaymes designed the new Fab Lab at Marymount, and he just spoke at TEDxNYED last month.
Today, the groups communicated “long distance” and “real time” using Google Video Chat. (Cristina Martinez turned on the Chat feature for students just for this project and just for a few days. Usually, this feature is disabled.) I moved about checking on all of the groups. At one point, I observed four kids (two in front of me and two on the screen) discuss their designs and even use a secondary laptop facing the camera to visibly demonstrate how to use Tinkercad to make a triangular hole to decorate the roof of a temple. I thought that was awesome. 🙂