STEAM & Makerspaces
STEAM Challenge Resources
STEAM Interactive Tools
PBS Design Squad GLOBAL - This platform has videos, design challenges, building tools and interactive games based on STEAM concepts. Students can choose an idea from several categories such as outdoors, sports, fashion, helping, food, animals or all of the above. The platform shows what other students are designing as well so students can support or get ideas from students all over the world. The website has lesson plans, guides and videos to help educators guide the process. An account is not needed to use the website, but will be needed if users want to post or save items to their files.
Engineering Interact by University of Cambridge Department of Engineering has interactive resources in light, sound, forces and motion, Earth and beyond and electricity. There is a resources bank and a section just for teachers to connect to the content for students 9 -11 years old. (although the activities can be used higher or lower levels.) Lessons and activities are linked to United Kingdom National curriculum standards.
STEM Collaborative has real world math and science activities for grades 6 -8. Activities such as Math by Design, Scale City, Rock n Roll Road trip and Proportion Land are the main tools available. The platform has a menu for standards and concepts that educators can choose to find the best tool to match the standards they are working on. The "additional resources" button connect educators with resources for ALL GRADE levels.
NASA's Kids' Club has an abundance of space related resources that are both digital and downloadable. There are resources for parents and teachers available as well to help connect all students to the content. Users can explore topics or missions that are currently operating within NASA or within the history of the program. The website has apps, podcasts, and e-books that can be downloaded. Activities such as "test your driving skills" with the Mars Rover and Jumbled Jets are currently highlighted on the home page. Also available is a "clubhouse" with explorations on the space station. (Chromebooks will need to have Flash Enabled.)
The Kids' Science Challenge includes many interactive games within many science topics. Topics range from "flavor science" to water, sports, microbes, sounds and Mars. There is also a Scavenger hunt on different topics. The site also has videos, explores science careers and resources for educators and parents.
Applications for 3D Creation
Project Ignite from Autodesk integrates project content directly into Autodesk's free, award-winning design software, and provides access to the hardware educators and students need to turn their ideas into physical objects.Lessons and activities from this website can integrate with TinkerCAD and 123D Circuits projects as well.
3D Printing - A website built by University of British Columbia grad students dedicated to incorporating 3D modeling into K-12 classrooms. This website has a unique perspective that allows educators to begin with a "boot camp" page for novice 3D experiences. Educators also have guidance on process steps to help avoid wasted supplies and information on selecting the right software for your environment and needs. There are resources for planning your design challenges as well.
3D Tin (Chrome App) - 3DTin is a 3D Modeler that runs in your browser.
You can ..
* design models by placing cubes of different colors on top of each other.
* create shapes from standard templates (WebGL required)
* save the sketches in cloud
* export the sketches in standard 3D file formats - STL, OBJ, Collada
For best user experience, make sure you have WebGL enabled in your browser. For WebGL to work you need a decent graphics card. (If you are still having a problem check this link http://bit.ly/epLszC)
SketchUp allows users to create 3D modeling for many CTE programs. (Architecture, Construction, Engineering, Interior design, 3D printing, landscape Architecture, Game design and Film & Stage) The site offers many video tutorials on how to use the platform. It will work on a ChromeBook. They also have a community help desk that is very responsive to requests.
Cookie Caster - Build your own cookie cutter in under a minute. This platform is simple and quick to use. It is cloud based so it will work on ChromeBooks. Easy tutorial is provided. If using with Kindergarten complete the tutorial on a smartboard to help with understanding. The design can be done dragging circles on the board. All files can be downloaded in STL format. No registration is need to use this platform.
TinkerCAD by Autodesk is an easy, browser-based 3D design and modeling tool for all. Tinkercad is also the perfect 3d printing companion – it allows students to imagine anything, and then design it in minutes! Tinkercad is part of the123D family of free apps. Students and teachers can signup for free accounts and start creating projects quickly and easily. The platform offers wonderful tutorials for teachers to incorporate the lessons into the classroom activities.
Blender is a 3D image creator and editor. Open Source, downloadable program that also allows animation creation in 3D. Software can also be used in 3D printing. Many examples and resources available for teachers and students to get inspiration on the website and via YouTube.
OpenSCAD is software for creating solid 3D CAD objects. It is free software and available for Linux/UNIX, MS Windows and Mac OS X. (Software is a download so it will not work on ChromeBooks....it does however work "offline" so if you have internet issues with online software this would be a great option.)
OpenSCAD is not an interactive modeling tool. Instead it reads in statements that describes the object and it renders the 3D model from that code. This gives you full control over the modelling process and enables you to easily change any step in the process or make designs that are defined by configurable parameters. This software is best with older grade levels 6-12.
Beetle Blocks - this is a cloud based program so it is compatible with ChromeBooks. Beetle Blocks creates 3D designs using Visual Block Coding. (Similar to Scratch.) The platform has resources for educators and a community of examples by students. There is an "Introduction" tutorial that is accessible when the program is launched to get students familiar with the platform. Projects can be downloaded as a STL file for printing.
Design Ideas and Resources
Thingiverse - This is one of the biggest and most popular databases of FREE downloadable STL files. It has a very active maker community behind it. Students and educators are not required to open an account in order to download a 3D model from their site. Sometimes the database can seem slightly less organized than the cleaner and simpler design of sites.
City X Project - This is a resource that connects problem solving and the creative process. The entire workshop for 8-12 year old students (could be higher) is provided for download. The toolkit has everything an educator needs to complete this workshop. Each student is presented with an issue faced by a fictional character in City X. The must invent, design and prototype something that solves their character's problem. The issues faced in City X are representative of real-world social issues we face "on Earth".
Design Squad Global is developed by PBS Kids and has online activities for students to discover how to help the "Fidgets" react in their world. Videos and offline activities are available as well in a DIY or maker-space lessons plans. Maker space challenges and how to help around the world and in your neighborhood.