This week we caught up with Michael Jaber, a Coordinator of Instructional Technology at Sheboygan Area School District in Wisconsin, to learn more about a multi-faceted project his high school students recently took on.
Their goal was to construct a sculptural wall hanging for the new Technology Department, for which they used 3Doodler 3D Pens to complete.
So, join us as we learn more about the project, and how this district is incorporating technology into its programs, classes and curriculum.
About Sheboygan High School
Sheboygan South High School offers a rigorous curriculum with a variety of opportunities to prepare students for careers, citizenship, and life.
The school is located along the shores of Lake Michigan in Sheboygan, Wisconsin with a student population of 1,184 students.
One thing that sets this school apart from other schools in the area is its Art Department, which has been experimenting with infusing technology into the art curriculum to allow for alternative representation of visual creation and expression.
What was the inspiration for the project? And what was the process?
The Technology Department at Sheboygan Area School District recently moved offices to an alternative location and asked the South High Art Department to create a sculptural wall hanging as the focal point for their offices called “The Hive.”
In the early planning stages, IT Coordinator Mike Jaber and Innovation Coach Amy Dekker met with Art Teacher Brian Sommersberger so that we could share and benefit from tech devices commonly used throughout our district, including our 3Doodler 3D pens, Sphero robots, and the Glowforge Laser Machine.
After demonstrations were given, students began to collaborate and brainstorm ideas for what “The Hive” would look like visually. Since the sculpture is intended to be a conversation piece, one criteria students had was to incorporate some of the hands-on technology the district uses. IT members can now reference “The Hive” and explain how specific hands-on technology solutions are used to create unique works of art.
Can you tell us more about “The Hive”?
Students began “The Hive” by painting white primer on a 4×8’ sheet of styrofoam intended to be the base for the project. Once dry, the sheet of foam was placed on the ground, and paper wall barriers were placed around the edges in preparation for the Sphero robot balls.
Students dipped the Sphero Balls in acrylic paint and controlled them with iPads to simulate action art painting, most commonly referenced by artist Jackson Pollock.
After the paint dried, a 4-foot circle was cut out of the foam and ready for 3Doodler pen creations. Students used the 3Doodler 3D printing pens to first create honeycomb shapes consisting of 3 hexagon shapes attached to one another.
To make honeycombs uniform, a template was placed under a transparency sheet which allowed the shapes to peel off easier.
Students were also required to attach a paper clip to the backside using plastic filament instead of hot glue. Another group of students were asked to help make the 7 bees seen on the hive, each representing a member of the IT department. 3Doodler filament was doodled and molded around found objects such as glue sticks, to form the body and the head of the seven bees.
Each part was created separately and welded together using additional plastic filament.
Lastly, students in Gary Scheller’s tech-ed class used the glow forge laser etcher/cutter to create honeycomb shapes to be placed inside and around the 3Doodler components.
When did you add 3D printing pens into your curriculum? And how did you get introduced to 3Doodler?
The South High Art Department was introduced to the 3Doodler from the Instruction Technology Department only 3 months ago.
These pens have been around the district for several years and utilized during our Tech Clubs at the upper elementary schools. We had the 3Doodler Start Learning Packs initially and eventually graduated to something more sophisticated like the 3Doodler Create+ Learning Packs.
It was time to introduce these to the upper-level art classes and let them run with this type of technology. They were so popular, we ordered some 3Doodler Create+ pens just to keep in this particular art class.
Do you have any suggestions for people new to 3D pens?
The South High Art Department is always looking to explore and beta test new opportunities with technology. We are beginning to review State and National Standards to see how the 3Doodler pens fit into current standards and curriculum.
As a teacher, I am open to choice-based learning and modifying projects where the 3Doodler pens could be applied in place of a different material such as graphite drawing or painting. Some suggestions I tell students right away when beginning a project is to draw on transparent sheets to help the filaments peel off with ease. I also tell the students to use the pens like a wire welder when constructing sculptures.
The filament coming out of the pen is very similar to a wire welder and I could see the pens being very useful in trade schools where students are learning different types of welds. I have seen the most success when students are using a template to begin a design. Once a foundation is constructed students can then use their artistic expression.
The 3Doodler pens are very therapeutic from the sound of the pen to seeing the filament come out the tip of the nozzle, and most students along and staff have found the pens very addicting (in a good way). Once you pick one up and get started, it’s tough to put it down!