Project Idea: Design a Historical Marker

Example of a Historical Marker celebrating a moment in 3D printing history.

Example of a Historical Marker celebrating a moment in 3D printing history.

Here is a project idea for students to create a historical marker. This project is a natural fit for social science but can be used in any content area.

Challenge: Propose a design to convince a town/historical society/school to commission a historical marker.

Design: Design a historical marker based on the topic you are currently studying. The marker can commemorate a person, place, event, battle, etc. The design should include all the text on the marker such as facts and quotations, an appropriate symbol for the top of the marker and a suggested location. Students can sketch or draw their ideas or mock up a design in a word processor. A Historical Marker Template is available at Thingiverse.

Make: Students are to create a prototype of the historical marker. Emphasis should be placed on the need for the audience to be able to visualize the end product. The design could be 3D printed or made out of regular classroom supplies.

Share/Teach: The students will need to present a proposal convincing the town/historical society/school to select their design for a new historical marker. Students will need to discuss the significance of the historical marker, the accuracy of any facts and quotations, the meaning of the symbol selected for the marker and the proposed location. Presentations can be in a variety of formats; oral, PowerPoint, Prezi, video, etc.

The ‘winner’ of the design challenge could have their Historical Marker design 3D printed. The winning designs and prototypes can be displayed in the classroom or school and make a great exam review tool.

Update: The Historical Marker Database at is an excellent resource for students designing their own historical marker. The page format for each marker would make a great template for sharing student projects.