Making It: A Makerspace Introduction (Middle School)
3D Printer, CNC Mill, CNC Router, Laser Cutter/Engraver, Vinyl Cutter/Printer
Description: This semester-long course introduces students to all aspects of the makerspace. They will understand that makerspaces not only involve equipment and technology, but also require collaboration, creativity, and problem solving. The first unit covers basic makerspace information including safety, the creative design process, and computer-aided design. The next four units each cover a specific piece of equipment including vinyl cutting, laser cutting/engraving, CNC, and 3D printing. The course culminates with a social entrepreneurship design challenge. In addition to learning how to operate makerspace equipment, students will conduct research, create computer-aided designs, apply the creative design process, demonstrate 21st century skills, and construct prototypes. This course includes 47 one-hour lessons with several optional extensions.
Distance Learning: This project includes only an in-person learning option and requires a 3D printer, laser cutter/engraver, CNC machine, and vinyl cutter to complete.
Standards: This project aligns to Common Core State Standards, Next Generation Science Standards, International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Standards, and Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for sixth grade through eighth grade.
21st Century Skills: Creativity, Flexibility, Collaboration, Critical Thinking, Information Literacy, Technology Literacy
Identify skills for makerspace success.
Recognize safety as a priority in the makerspace.
Apply the creative design process.
Describe an application of computer-aided design.
Create computer-aided designs.
Develop plans and brainstorm ideas as a team.
Recognize how logos convey brand identity.
Use and share makerspace equipment safely.
Summarize and communicate ideas effectively.
Demonstrate knowledge of the Cartesian coordinate system.
Classify 2D and 3D design files.
Compare natural and synthetic fabrics and their characteristics.
Discuss vinyl cutting technology.
Examine vinyl production and its effects on the environment.
Create a digital drawing file.
Describe how laser cutters work.
Compare the effects of laser cutting and engraving on a variety of materials.
Conduct research and cite sources.
Describe industry uses of laser cutting.
Identify criteria and constraints.
Write clear and concise problem statements.
Recognize the importance of iteration in the creative design process.
Identify manufacturing careers.
Recognize the demand for manufacturing skills.
Describe and compare subtractive and additive manufacturing.
Discuss CNC technology and its applications.
Demonstrate the ability to create, download, and convert files.
Identify credible, accurate, and relevant sources.
Test and evaluate prototypes.
Evaluate peer designs and provide feedback.
Recognize the types and advantages of 3D printing.
Recognize common materials used in 3D printing.
Describe and research a 3D printing application.
Discuss and weigh the legal and ethical ramifications of 3D printing.
Describe and discuss social entrepreneurship.
Identify and select social, cultural, and environmental problems to solve.
Manage and document the engineering design process.
Present to an authentic audience.