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3D Printers Come To W.L. Morse

First-graders at W.L. Morse created new animals using 3D printers while second-graders created houses for humans in various environments without disrupting the habitat of the animals that live there. The students have been involved with this new technology for weeks working with Elementary Technology TA Meghan Hak and their classroom teachers.

First, the students researched animals and their habitats, and they learned about the climate, geographic region, vegetation, and many other details before they discovered how the printer worked.

First-graders also found what features allow the animals to survive in the wild and second-graders focused on the needs and wants of a human in a home and what each environment looks like. For example, a rainforest was one environment used by the second-graders but to build a house they could not change the rainforest, they had to accommodate its features. Second-graders also used environments such as arctic, ponds, deserts and oceans.

Then first grade students made a “new” animal by mashing up physical features of different animals. The children then presented their animal and voted on what parts would be used to create a class animal.

Each child was assigned a part of the animal to build utilizing a variety of materials. Second grade students used their understanding of engineering to design the houses first by hand using various materials. Both grades used a tinkercad program on Chromebooks. Classes then voted on the best recreation.

Tonya Richardson’s class created an animal with a  head of a toucan, body of a poisonous dart frog, legs of a cheetah, wings of an eagle, and the tail of a monkey. “It has been awesome watching the students collaborate and problem solve throughout this entire process. They are truly learning what it means to persevere. We are grateful for the opportunity to share this experience with our first-grade students.” 

The Foundation for the Public Schools of The Tarrytowns provided funding to bring the 3D printers to Morse.

3D printing is used in architecture, medicine, manufacturing and other industries.