Plus, Chris has developed incredible rapport and relationships with his students, so it is always a pleasure to come in and work alongside him. That is very important here, as the entire lesson hinges on taking a risk and being willing to have it be a complete flop.
On Tuesday, we co-taught the lesson where the kids were given the handout that Mr. Duran had created and walked through how to create on Tinkercad.com to complete the design of their die.
Maybe it's because they are AP students, and maybe it's because Mr. Duran has built a culture where this is the norm, and maybe it's a bit of both, but many students used their chromebooks to dive into research, looking up irregular dice for inspiration and ideas.
As I continue to learn about 3D printing, I have to send a big thank you to the team at Airwolf3D for being great with their patience and support. Y'see, not everything went well.
A teacher who wasn't all in with the risk would have seen this as a great place to abandon the kitchen and get some takeout. After all, three prints in a row turned out trashy. This is a waste of time. I have standards to cover. My kids need to prepare for the AP exam and this isn't a good use of precious days. I'm over it.
NONE of these things were spoken, or even alluded to, throughout my struggles. Yes, it was frustrating to see a ball of plastic on the print bed, but Mr. Duran was ready to try again, again, and again.
With the help of the support team at Airwolf, we were able to resolve the issues, which turned out to be that the extruder was too hot, and picked up printing successfully as soon as we corrected it. Boom!
From here, the students will work in pairs to create a game based on inferences and probability of rolling certain values on their irregular die. They will create the game board, the rule book, and play a sample of their game to ensure that it is fair and fun.
Something tells me that they're going to remember this lesson for a while.
The 3D printer was a great wild card that spiked engagement and stoked curiosity, but you don't need access to one in order to create this type of experience for your students. Have them take ownership, create something, and be proud of it. That is what will keep kids talking in a good way.
Happy "Yahtzee!!!" Fishing