Design Make Share: An Outline for MAKING in the Classroom

Design Make Share

Ready to dive into 3D printing in the classroom? Your students and colleagues will be energized by having access to the latest technology. But be careful, if you just start printing without a clear instructional plan in place, your 3D printer could become just a toy factory.

Design Make Share is a method for integrating MAKING in the classroom. This method applies to 3D printers and any other type of MAKING from cardboard and scissors to laser cutters and CNC machines.

Here is an instructional outline for MAKING in the classroom.

PROBLEM/CHALLENGE: Students want to solve a problem, fill a need or answer a question.

DESIGN: Students design, brainstorm, sketch, hypothesize a solution to the problem. It is critical that each student record the results of this process. The DESIGN may be a drawing on a 3″x5″ card, an entry in a maker journal, a sketch on an iPad or a full design in a CAD program. This is the idea phase. This is the stage where student work can be stored as bits in memory.

MAKE: Students make, build, experiment, fabricate their design. Review and revision are an integral part of this step. The original design will be modified based on the limits of the tools, materials and skills of the student. What is important is that the student are working from their original design and not just starting from scratch with tools in hand. This is the stage where bits are turned into atoms.

SHARE: Students share, market, publish, teach what they have designed and made. Blogs, websites, class share fairs and are great places to SHARE. The SHARE step can include a summary of the problem, the design, the solution that they made and how it differs from their original design and a reflection of how the work relates to the class curriculum. Be sure that students SHARE the solutions that didn’t work. This is the stage where the bits and atoms are turned into waves that ripple out and impact others.

The purpose of this blog is to explore MAKING in the classroom and expand on the idea of Design Make Share by teaching others.