Students learn with 3-D printer

PHOTO SUBMITTED Pictured are some examples of monuments Calvert students created in Keven Rinaman’s classroom using a 3-D printer.

One teacher at Calvert Catholic Schools has created lessons with 3D-printing that goes beyond looking at photos online or in a textbook.

Keven Rinaman, director of technology and teacher at Calvert, has been the featured educator on thingiverse.com for his lesson on Washington, D.C., monuments.

Each year, students take a trip to the U.S. capital and, recently, Rinaman has had students create their own interpretation of a 3D-printed monument using MakerBot software and one of the school’s 3D printers that were purchased three years ago.

“We purchased the 3D printer and then we had to decide what to do with it,” Rinaman said.

Students worked through the software and tinkered around with their own designs.

IMAGE SUBMITTED An image from MakerBot software shows a digital blueprint of a monument that students printed

“This makes everything more hands-on,” Rinaman said. “We can do a lot more.”

The monument project focuses on the students’ trip and making history more touchable and realistic, he said.

While in the capital, Rinaman said students can take photos of their monument with the real thing.

“This makes the purpose of the monuments more meaningful for the students,” he said.

Rinaman said by being a featured educator, he feels he can share his knowledge with other educators.

PHOTO SUBMITTED Pictured is a monument Calvert students created in Keven Rinaman’s classroom using a 3-D printer.

“The goal is to give more exposure to students through the use of technology,” he said.

Students also have worked with the printer to solve problems, such as creating a part for the school’s floor buffer equipment that had broken.

Rinaman said the piece was hard plastic that could have cost close to $70, but was created on-site in 1-2 hours.

“This is real hands-on learning,” Rinaman said.

Over time, Rinaman has used his lesson plans to design a workshop for other educators, which has been presented at conferences around the country.

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