Milwaukee School’s Maker Wins Mother’s Day 3D Printing Design Contest

May 13, 2019

Jen Knox a business studies, computer science and IT teacher at Martin Luther High School in Greendale, Wisconsin shares how their school is benefitting from being part of the GE Additive Education Program.

She also explains how one of her freshmen students, Michael Arnesan won Polar3D’s, hotly-contested, Mother’s Day 3D printing design competition. As a competition winner, Michael will receive his own Monoprice Voxel 3D printer.

Tell us a little about the school?
Founded in 1968 and located in Greendale, Wisconsin, a southwest suburb of Milwaukee, Martin Luther High School is a 9-12 Missouri Synod Lutheran high school with around 520 students and 40 teachers.

What have been some of the highlights of being part of the GE Additive Education Program?
Seeing what the students have come up with has been amazing and seeing how those students who may struggle in one academic area or another can thrive, when it comes to hands-on STEAM projects.  

Having a 3D printer in the classroom means students now stop in all the time, wanting to know if they can “just design and print something” without being in one of our classes that specifically uses it. And when we are printing, students regularly walk into class, asking if I’m printing their project yet.  I love seeing how excited they are to see their designs come to life.

Could you explain how you’ve integrated 3D printing into your lesson plans and wider STEM teaching at the school?
From this year, we’re offered a STEAM course that introduces students to a range of 3D printing and design topics.  In class, students receive specific design challenges to meet a desired result.  

This has been eye opening for students as they find out that they can’t just eyeball things and must use exact measurements.  This also provides an opportunity to talk about careers as well, with conversations like, “How would you like it, if the architect said, “that looks about right” if they were designing your house or skyscraper?”

How have you tapped into the GE AEP community – what can new schools expect, how should they engage?
With hindsight, I should have tapped into it more.  The AEP community is amazing, from helping with set-up to ideas for competitions. New schools should spend some time familiarizing themselves with the community, but also engaging with it to form connections and learn.

How did your participation in the Mother’s Day competition come about?
I saw the competition and threw the idea out to my students to see if they were interested.  Michael Arnesan on of my freshmen jumped on this, as his first project had already been a mold for his mum.

Your student Michael won the Mothers’ Day competition. What did he design?
Michael designed a jewelry box for his mum and after some feedback from the community he made adjustments. Every day he came into class and the first thing he did was look at the number of likes he’d received.

Michael has thrived in this class.  Even last semester, when I didn’t have him in my class, he would stop in my classroom to see if we were printing something, or to ask me more about the printer and what class he needed to take to be able to print.

How have you grown as an educator?
I’ve grown immensely. This is my first time with 3D printing, so there was a learning curve for me to able to model for my students.  We have learned many tips and tricks together, and I think it’s also great for students to see that I, as their teacher, don’t have the answer for everything, and that adults are also constantly learning new skills too.

What’s next for the Martin Luther High School?
We’re looking to add more STEAM to our curriculum, as well as having conversations about how and where we could introduce a Maker Space, to give more students the opportunity to explore hands-on learning.  

It’s a work in progress, but the help of the GE Additive Education Program to bring 3D printing to the school has been a tremendous blessing to our students, school and curriculum opportunities.

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