A City of Light

As part of my work at Westside Neighborhood School, where I serve as Director of Social Entrepreneurship, I am fortunate to continue in a teaching role. Currently, I teach 6th, 7th and 8th graders in a class I call “Design, Code, Make.” In these courses, students explore coding, digital design and fabrication, and physical computing.

In the study of digital design and fabrication, the 8th-grade is working hard on the creation of their City of Light, which culminates in a scaled down 3D printed city including buildings, vehicles, and a third design of their choice. This last model can be anything that belongs in a town or city, such as street lights, park benches, stop signs and more.

Students began at the ideation stage, where they drafted out their initial thoughts on the writable walls and tables in the classroom. They moved on to the design process using grid paper and hand drawings, then graduated to the prototyping stage, where they worked in Tinkercad to create their first vehicles.

We’ve printed out some of the first designs, and they look incredible. I chose to use white filament for printing so that it can serve as a blank canvas upon which students can paint and apply their creative color ideas. Below are some photos of students in action, along with a sampling of their models. I look forward to the completed city in the coming weeks.

If you have a 3D design and printing project that you would like to share, I’d love to hear about it. Please comment below.

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