Mystery Artifact: Getting Started and Rubric

I’m working with Super Star Social Science educator Andrea Relator, @AndreaRelator, on a Mystery Artifact project. Over the last 2 days, we kicked off the project with 4 of her classes, taking approximately 45 minutes of class time.

Students will be creating an artifact related to a specific president that illustrates the Constitutional powers of the office. Students will provide research documentation and a historical photograph of the artifact, a design file for digital fabrication and a video appraisal to serve as the ‘correct’ answer for their artifact.

-Ms. Relator showed the students 2 video appraisals from Antiques Road Show. Best Moment: 1884 Anna Pottery Temperance Snake Jug and Steve Wozniak-signed Apple Computer–200101T20/

-I presented the MLK Birmingham Jail Key as a challenge/example for the classes.

-We showed Thingiverse as a repository of existing 3D designs for inspiration and possible source of files for remixing.

-I demonstrated Tinkercad as a tool for 3D design. We are encouraging designs for 3D printing but let students know that the laser cutter, CNC mill, t-shirt press, button maker and 2D printer are also possible tools. We are lucky and at least one student in each class has experience with Tinkercad and the tools in the makerspace.

In the next few classes, students will conduct research on their president, a constitutional power and the artifact itself. They will model their artifact in Tinkercad or other design software. Finally they will create a short video appraisal in the style of the Antiques Road Show video.

Ms. Relator created a great rubric for this assignment and was kind enough to let me share it. Mystery Artifact Rubric


One of the things I value in co-teaching with Ms. Relator is her strength in documenting and providing supports for big idea projects. Where I just do some handwaving explaining how a particular maker project might work, she does a great job creating a complete lesson that is tied strongly to the curriculum.

Have a suggestion? Please leave a comment or contact me on me Twitter @DesignMakeTeach.