Raise the Doodled Flag for Flag Day!

What is Flag Day?

Flag Day celebrates the day that the United States adopted its flag, and that historic event took place on June 14th of 1777. President Woodrow Wilson officially recognized June 14 as Flag Day in 1916. Later on in 1949, National Flag Day was further established via an Act of Congress. This year, in celebration of Flag Day, learners can create their very own flags, explore their symbolic significance, and even create a unique flag to represent their identity.

Use our free flag stencil to create a model of your country’s flag, as well as flags of other countries. To take the learning further, dive into our critical thinking questions below.

3Doodler Start Tip: When using the 3Doodler Start pen, you can shape and mold the plastic as it extrudes to create waves in the shape of the flag.
3Doodler Create+ Tip: If you’re using the Create+ pen, you can Doodle your flag flat, then use a heat gun or hair dryer to create waves in the flag after it has hardened.

Critical Thinking Questions for Flag Day

  • Can you explain how symbols relate to objects and actions, and how depictions on flags can represent deeper meaning? Provide examples.
  • Why do countries have flags?
  • Why are flags important to countries?
  • What do you think the different colors and symbols of your country’s flag represent? Research the flag’s meaning to see if you were correct in your hypothesis.
  • If you were to create a flag to represent your identity, what would it look like? What colors and symbols would you include, and why? Design a flag to represent yourself and your own identity, then bring it to life with the 3Doodler pen.

Have Fun with our Flag Day Bubble Wand Webinar!

If you’re looking for a fun, educational way to celebrate Flag Day, be sure to tune into our webinar today at 1pm EST on YouTube! In the webinar, you will learn about Flag Day, engineer your very own flag-shaped bubble wand, then test it out! You can learn more about the rest of our webinar series here.

Are you Doodling a flag for Flag Day? We want to see! Be sure to share your creations with us on social media.

@3Doodler #3Doodler #3DoodlerEDU #FlagDay

Posted in EDU

Summer Learning Inspiration from Workshop Leaders

Who’s ready to learn and play this summer?

Change is in the air! As summer camps and enrichment opportunities go virtual, let hands-on learning come to you. Gain inspiration and insights from our summer workshop leaders to engage young learners anywhere in the world. No matter where you are this summer, get ready to create!

Robin Fosdick, Natick, MA

Morse Institute Library MakerLAB

At the Morse Institute Library, we use 3Doodler Pens in three recurring MakerLAB workshops. 3Doodler Start and Create+ pens are an important part of our MakerLAB programs for Teens (ages 11-18) and Tweens (grades 5-7). The 3Doodler pens merge art and technology, are easy to use, and encourage creative expression. It’s so exciting to watch a teen pick up a 3Doodler pen for the first time ever, then leave the workshop with a fabulous model they created themselves!

3D pens are super popular with our Teen MakerLAB & Tween MakerLAB. Some like to trace a design from a stencil, while some prefer to freehand their own creations. Awesome teen creations include a working barrette and an orb with a tree on it (inspired by iconography from The Little Prince).

MakerLAB Advanced Creative is offered to teenagers who’ve attended at least five 3D pen workshops. This program gives older teens a chance to create more complex projects. In just six hours, Mike A. created a large deer head by with a 3Doodler pen using a stencil kit.

Summer Camp Tips

  • Teach 3Doodler pen basics starting with tracing stencils, then work on freehand projects.
  • Challenge experienced Doodlers to create a larger, more complex project of their choice.
    • For advanced Doodling techniques with the Create+ pen, check out these tips.

Briana Sadler, Prince George, BC

Two Rivers Gallery MakerLab 2RG

3Doodler pens have proven to be popular educational tools that we use for many of our Two Rivers Gallery MakerLab programs, including school programs, day camps, adult programs, and even staff team building! The following are just a few of the ways that we have incorporated this tool into our STEAM programs.

Maker Experience is a full day STEAM event where we host 75 students from School District 57 at Two Rivers Gallery for a full day of classes covering 3D printing, 3D pens, robotics and more! 3Doodler pens are a great way to embrace technology, engineering, and art. Students use creative thinking and problem solving by using  3Doodler pens to create things like houses, spaceships, and sea creatures.

Day Camps routinely have a 3Doodler element. During a dragon and knights focused day camp, we encouraged learners to create a hand-drawn stencil of their dragon. Using 3Doodler pens, students then Doodled over their drawings, then “welded” all the pieces together with the extruded filament to make their 3D dragons!

Outreach Events with 3Doodler pens are always a hit! The Exploration Place, a local museum, held a celebration of ecosystems and we brought our 3Doodler pens. Students used the pens to build models of their own environmental ecosystems.

Summer Camp Tips

  • Invite students to pick a house, spaceship, or creature of their choice, and challenge them to create a model of it with the 3Doodler pen.
  • Offer themed days and have learners make a custom stencil to celebrate the theme. Themes could range from dragons and knights to superheroes, animals or favorite book characters. Encourage students to draw their design, Doodle the pieces, then assemble their 3D model with extruded plastic.
  • Challenge students to pick an ecosystem of their choice, then make a model of it using 3Doodler pens.

Do you have great ideas for summer learning activities? Our community wants to know what you’re planning. Share your projects with us on Twitter!

@3Doodler #3Doodler #3DoodlerEDU #SummerCamp #SummerSTEM #SummerSTEAM #WhatWillYouCreate

Images in slideshow 1 courtesy of Morse Library Makerlab, which is generously sponsored by MathWorks.
Images in slideshow 2 and the primary featured image in the blog and newsletter courtesy of Two Rivers Gallery MakerLab 2RG, which is charitably supported by the Prince George Yellowhead Rotary Club.

Posted in EDU

Keep on Creating with our Weekly Webinars!

What an amazing few weeks we’ve had Doodling from home! Let’s keep bringing learning to life in 3D with our weekly Learn from Home Doodlecasts. We’ll explore a range of fun, creative, and cool projects. Check out the topics below, mark your calendar, and join us Wednesdays at 1pm EST on YouTube!

Bonus: You’ll also have a chance to win a prize during the rest of the webinars!


When: Every Wednesday at 1pm EDT
Where: Join on YouTube

What will you create?

May 13: Doodle Atoms
What you’ll need: Start Pen or Create+ Pen, Start filaments or Create+ filaments, Doodle Atoms Lesson Plan, Start DoodlePad or Create DoodlePad (optional)

May 20: Reach for the Stars with a DIY Telescope!
What you’ll need: Start Pen or Create+ Pen, Start filaments or Create+ filaments, Cardboard Tube, Scissors, Clear plastic bottle, Water, Clear PLA (if using Create+)

May 27: Bubble Wands for Flag Day!
What you’ll need: What you’ll need: Start Pen or Create+ Pen, Start filaments or Create+ filaments, Flag Stencils, Soap, Water, Bowl

June 3: Bring Summer Reading Characters to Life!
What you’ll need: Start Pen or Create+ Pen, Start filaments or Create+ filaments, Figure Stencil, Start DoodlePad or Create DoodlePad (optional)

June 10: Build a Working Engine Model
What you’ll need: Create+ Pen, Create+ filamentsV-Twin Engine Stencil, Create DoodlePad (optional)

June 17: Lift Stories off the Page with 3D Build & Play
What you’ll need: What you’ll need: 3D Build & Play or Start Pen or Create+ Pen, Start filaments or Create+ filaments

Did you miss our first run of Doodlecasts?

Catch them all in our playlist below!

3Doodler Learn From Home Webinar Series Playlist
The items needed for each webinar will be conveniently listed in each video.

If you have any questions about the projects or Doodling from home, reach out and we’ll be happy to help.

Do you know others who are looking for creative, educational projects to do from home? Pass it on and invite others to join our weekly Doodlecast, and be sure to show off your Doodles on social media!

@3Doodler #3Doodler #3DoodlerEDU #LearnFromHome #WhatWillYouCreate

Quick, Creative Gift Ideas to Thank Your Teacher

Let creativity shine this Teacher Appreciation Week!

It’s been a challenging time for both students and teachers these past few months. As remote learning took center stage, teachers everywhere revisited lesson plans and identified unique ways to reach their students and keep them learning. Teachers are preparing the learners of today to be the leaders of tomorrow, and we are all so grateful for this gift they share with the world!

Take time this week and think about what your own teacher has meant to you. Consider a creative way to show your gratitude with a thoughtful gift that you can make. Thank a teacher in your life with these fun projects and create the perfect gift!

K-8th Grade

Desktop Goblins to Hold Office Bits and Bobs

3Doodler Start Project

Help your teacher organize their paperclips, rubber bands, and more with these adorable desktop goblins! Follow our easy tutorial for them here.

Bookworm Bookmark for your Teacher’s Current Read

3Doodler Start Project

Does your teacher love reading? Of course they do! Enhance their reading experiences by making the best bookmark they will ever have. Use our stencil to get started.

A Geometric Heartfelt Note of Gratitude

3Doodler Start or Create+ Project

Write a note of gratitude and gift it to your teacher in a handmade geometric heart. Simply the perfect gift for STEM teachers! Follow our tutorial here.

High School

Coffee Cup Decor for the World’s Best Teacher

3Doodler Create+ Project

Who’s got the best teacher? You do! Create this heartwarming coffee mug decoration just for them. Use our free stencil to make it here.

Custom Tiffany Candle Holders are the Perfect Gift!

3Doodler Create+ Project

Gift your teacher a handmade tiffany candle holder. Use our free stencils with Clear PLA plastics, or create your own custom designs to personalize it for your teacher! Use our free stencil to get started.

Do you have projects that you’ve made for your favorite teachers? Share them with us on social media!

@3Doodler #3Doodler #3DoodlerEDU #WhatWillYouCreate

Posted in EDU

Join From Anywhere: 3Doodler EDU Webinar Series

Calling all kid inventors, parents, teachers, and creators!

We’re excited to announce our new weekly webinar series, which is completely FREE, and will provide fun, educational, hands-on activities to bring learning to life in 3D.

Maxwell Bogue, 3Doodler’s founder, is excited to host topics designed to encourage young learners to create, build, and explore using three dimensional shapes. This series was created with flexibility in mind — join live or stream it anytime via our YouTube channel. Demonstrations, challenge prompts, and questions will spur learning. Take a look at the full schedule and the quick list of materials you’ll need.

Bonus: You’ll also have a chance to win a Learn From Home Pen Pack during the first webinar!


When: Every Wednesday at 1pm EDT
Where: Join on YouTube

What will you create?

April 1: Explore the Seasons
What you’ll need: 3Doodler pen, 3Doodler filaments, Lesson plan, 4x sticks from outside, paper, pencil

April 8: Building Bridges & Learning 3D Structure
What you’ll need: 3Doodler pen, 3Doodler filaments, printed stencil

April 15: Creativity Shines with Upcycled Inventions!
What you’ll need: 3Doodler pen, 3Doodler filaments, Lesson plan, upcycling items (paperclips, egg cartons, cardboard, etc.)

April 22: Bring the Outdoors In & Get Doodling!
What you’ll need: 3Doodler pen, 3Doodler filaments, Lesson plan, 4-6 leaves from outside

April 29: Lifting Stories off of the Page!
What you’ll need: 3Doodler Start pen, 3Doodler Start filaments, Lesson plan, printed stencil

May 6: Abstract Concepts Realized in 3D!
What you’ll need: 3Doodler pen, 3Doodler filaments, printed stencil, balled up paper to use with catapult

Need 3Doodler products for the series? We’re here to help. Explore new Learn from Home Packs for Start, Create+, or get Doodling with discounted plastics! All continental USA orders over $10 will receive free shipping.

Spread the word about our new 3Doodler EDU webinar series and share what you’re learning with us on social media. Tag Us: @3Doodler, #3Doodler, #3DoodlerEDU!

Posted in EDU

STEAM Education: An Overview from an Expert

Written By Brittany Ballou, K-5 STEAM Teacher, Grange Hall Elementary

Students using the 3Doodler Start

STEAM is an acronym that stands for science, technology, engineering, art, and math, but what exactly does it mean? How can you integrate it seamlessly into your classroom? How will it enrich your students’ learning? In order to have the biggest impact on your students’ education, you want to truly understand all of the ins and outs of STEAM education.

When teaching STEAM you are not focusing on isolated subjects, but rather combining knowledge from all areas as students complete design challenges. When presented with a design challenge, students move through the engineering design cycle (ask, imagine, plan, create, improve, and share) to tackle the problem at hand. This approach allows teachers to be facilitators of learning as students take ownership of the content through project-based learning.

Through the engineering design cycle, students learn by researching the topic, trial and error during the building process, and discussion with teammates. Peer collaboration is a large part of STEAM education because students learn together as they brainstorm ideas and analyze their design through the testing phase.

The problems or challenges that you present to students should not have one right answer, but instead allow students to create a variety of solutions. The teacher is not prescribing a set path and correct solution, but rather allowing the creativity of the students to shine through. This method helps students learn how to approach problems in an organized and effective way – learnings which can set them apart in their future careers.

STEAM education enriches students’ lives because it provides an opportunity for them to apply their knowledge through real-world application. Students love to ask the question, “when am I ever going to use this in real life?” This is your opportunity to expose them to actual problems that involve the application of skills they are learning in the classroom.

While doing this, you can take the opportunity to inform them of the various career paths available to them. If students are never exposed to career paths, such as being an architect, software developer, or medical engineer that utilizes 3D-printing, then they will never have an opportunity to see what they could be when they grow up.

The goal of STEAM education is to create both analytical and creative thinkers. We want students to be able to think outside the box, collaborate with their peers, overcome obstacles, and apply their learning to benefit society. You too can do all of this in your own classroom! Below you will find lesson criteria to help you start implementing STEAM challenges with your own students, as well as tips to help you along the way.

Lesson Criteria
  • Introduce the topic to students.

  • Find literature that goes with the topic. This is optional, but I love finding a new book to read to students. We discuss story elements and link science and/or math curriculum to the storyline with the STEAM challenge that is given.

  • Discuss background knowledge of the topic. This is where you unpack the standards you want students to review before giving them the STEAM challenge.

  • Present the STEAM design challenge to students so that they can relate it to things they already know, and feel connected to the problem.

  • Give students time to create a plan. Their plan should have a picture and be labeled with the materials they need to build.

  • You can provide a set amount of student materials to add the concept of limited resources to the lesson, or let them choose any materials they want.

  • Provide time for students to build, test, and improve their plan. This step can take as much time as, or more than, the previous work thus far.

  • Have students share their designs.


STEAM education is not meant to be an “extra” thing to check off your to-do list. Instead, it should help you teach the assigned curriculum in an integrated way, accomplishing several class goals in one project. You should start by unpacking your curriculum standards. I find it helpful to start with science because it naturally lends itself to hands-on projects, but any area can be a starting point.

When you first start using STEAM challenges in your classroom, start small. Give students a time limit to complete the challenge (about 30 – 45 minutes). After students become comfortable with the engineering design cycle, you can complete more in-depth STEAM challenges that require multiple class periods to complete. For example, as you complete a unit of study in science, students can be simultaneously working on a STEAM project to apply and demonstrate their learning.

Not every STEAM project is going to work. Students are going to fail, and that’s ok! Your students will learn more by failing than they will by succeeding. Make sure they have some time to analyze what went wrong. They should always apply what they learn in one challenge and use it in future challenges.

What are your thoughts on STEAM education?

Our EDU community would love to hear about it! Share your thoughts with them on Twitter. @3Doodler #3Doodler

Be sure to follow Brittany Ballou on Twitter.

Giving… In 3D

What is 3D Giving Day, you ask?

3D Giving Day was an event designed to share iconic picture books with people who can’t experience them through visual means.

Thanks to 3D Printing, 3Doodler pens, and other maker space tools, 3D Giving Day participants made these stories tactile, in some cases for the first time ever. The finished products were then donated to libraries, hospitals, preschools, or other individuals so they could experience beloved images in a whole new way.

We are excited to share the success of 3D Giving Day with you, and we have compiled some of our favorite examples below.

A group of teens at the Library Station in Springfield, Missouri created a tactile version of Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear. Once completed, Library Station Youth Services Manager, Phyllis Davis, read the finished version aloud to blind and visually impaired preschoolers at Shining Stars Early Childhood Center. The kids interacted with the 3D prints through touch, providing further context to the visuals most of us take for granted. The local NBC station was also there to cover the reading.

“We’re helping other people so they can have the same feeling that we have when we read the books,” said San Gabriel, CA sixth grader, Krystal Osorio. “But instead of reading they are going to feel with their hands.”

3Doodler co-founder Maxwell Bogue attended the 3D Giving Day celebration at Massapequa-Ames High School, leading students through favorites like Where The Wild Things Are, Elephant and Piggie, and more.

3Doodler ambassador Naomi Harm put together a 3D Giving Day lesson plan for Coffee for the Brain’s 25 Days of Making. One week later, she brought the 3D Giving Day concept to more than 1,000 attendees at the SLATE Conference in Wisconsin Dells, WI.

Want to see more about 3D Giving Day?

Check out the links below in the footer, and in the spirit of sharing, please post them on social media! @3Doodler #3Doodler

Posted in EDU

St. Patrick’s Day Lesson and Memory Game

Do you want your next lesson to be the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow?

If so, this is just for you!

Middle school teacher, Ellen Peterson, has put together an exciting lesson plan and memory game to bring some festive fun to your classroom this St. Patrick’s Day. Not only will it teach your students about the science behind 4-leaf clovers, but it will also bring some focused-fun to this festive holiday.

Teacher Tip: Have students use the hot tip of the 3Doodler Create+ to clean messy edges and smooth out rough corners on their Doodles.

Teachers can follow along to the easy step-by-step instructions and print off the lesson resources for the game, which include the Shamrock Memory Game cards, a score sheet for the students, and 3-leaf and 4-leaf clover stencils.

Teacher Tip: Did you know that you can laminate our stencils so they can be used over and over again? Feel free to print the stencils and laminate them before class. Laminated sheets will work with both the 3Doodler Start pens and the 3Doodler Create+ pens.
It’s Not as Simple as Mendel Said: A Lesson in Shamrock Genetics
Time Required: One 60-minute session
Skill Level: Beginner
Recommended Grades: 6th to 8th

In this activity, students will review the science behind 4-leaf clovers. Individual students will doodle a 3-leaf or a 4-leaf clover based on their final score in the Shamrock Memory Game, which will be played after a review of lesson materials.

Teacher Tip: We have about 100 lesson plans available for free on our website! Each lesson includes step-by-step instructions to accomplish the learning objectives. All of our lessons are written by teachers, for teachers, and they include Common Core, NGSS, CSTA and ISTE educational standards.

Once the lesson plan is complete, you can use the Doodled clovers to decorate the classroom for the occasion!

Other teachers want to see what you’re doing in your classroom for St. Patrick’s Day! Share your classroom happenings with them on Twitter, and be sure to follow Ellen Peterson.

Tag Us: @3Doodler, #3Doodler, #3DoodlerEDU

20 Inspirational Quotes for 2020 from our EDU Community

Now that we’re all getting back into the school rhythm, we wanted to share some great quotes we’ve received from 20 different teachers.

Many of you have spoken of amazing experiences with 3D pens in your learning environment, and we wanted to share them with our community to help spread some inspiration for the New Year. You can share these quotes on Twitter directly from the blog. Just click, post, and spread the inspiration!

Images courtesy of Steven Jones


"“I can’t say enough good things about the Start pen. It provides problem solving and perspective to students, which is very valuable. It’s another tool in the teacher’s toolbox to engage students in a new way, to engage learning in a new way.”"-Garrick Grace, District Technology Integration Specialist, Minnesota ISD 741, Paynesville, MN Share "“One interesting benefit is how engaged and focused my students who have attentional difficulties can be when doodling and creating their own designs. The 3Doodler pens have given some students a new way to learn about math, and have added a great deal of excitement to geometry time.”"-Mrs. Lounsbury, Wenonah Elementary School, Lake Grove, NY Share "“They were so engaged I heard a highly talkative student say, ‘Don’t distract me, I am working.’ This is every teacher’s dream! Do you have any idea how challenging it is to keep students on task at the end of the school year? Thank you for helping me find a wonderful, creative way, to keep my students engaged.”"-Mrs. Gardner, J W Seabrook Elementary School, Fayetteville, NC Share "“3Doodler pens are fantastic!! They keep my students creating for their entire session without breaks. Great tool for creation and attention building! 3Doodler pens are motivating my students to do so much more. They are easy to use and loads of fun.”"-Kirti Vyas, Brookside Elementary School, Monroe Township, NJ Share
Image courtesy of Susanne Firestone


"“When using the 3Doodler pens, the students are quiet and happy Doodling. The 3Doodler pens are amazing tools for mental health and being in one’s own mind. Students are inspired to create by seeing other Doodles.”"-Velvet Holmes, District Technology Literacy Teacher, Oregon School District, Brooklyn, WI Share "“We started with basic 2D shapes like circles and squares. Then we moved on to cubes. Now they are inventing their own creations! It’s really neat to see them think about what will work and how they need to problem solve to make their creations come to life. They are so engaged when they are working with their 3D pens.”"-Ms. Smith, Woodford Paideia School, Cincinnati, OH Share "“It is our role as educators to support students. We can do this through facilitating the use of empathy and EdTech to improve our communities. This can be as simple as using a 3Doodler pen to create tactual artwork for someone with visual impairments, or as powerful as using artificial intelligence to better our society.”"-Steven Jones, Riverside School District 96, Riverside, IL Share "“Students used the 3Doodler pens in math class to build geometric models, base ten models, and more. The students who learn best through tactile representations really benefit from this hands-on option for showing their learning.”"-Mrs. Hubert, William Berkowitz Elementary School, Chelsea, MA Share

Creative Exploring

"“For every grade level, the 3Doodler Start is their favorite STEM center in the makerlab. They are relaxed using the Starts and they have fun being imaginative. Students aren’t afraid to fail with the 3Doodler pens. They are relaxed and social, and that’s the mindset you want.”"-Susanna Hite, STEM Teacher, St. Peter School, Geneva, IL Share "“Each student is responsible for drawing an organism in their food chain and making it 3D by using the 3Doodler pens. Along the way students have learned about trial and error and how designs are not going to be perfect the first time. This is a life skill that I’m constantly trying to demonstrate in my classroom. I want students to know that failure isn’t a bad thing and they can learn how to re-design and make it even better. This has resulted in some fabulous 3Doodler organisms!”"-Brittany Ballou, STEAM Teacher, Grange Hall Elementary, Richmond, VA Share "“These 3Doodler pens have made a tremendous impact on my classroom. Creating is the highest-order thinking skill, and with these pens, my students are able to create projects that help them visualize concepts they’ve learned in math, language arts, science, and various other subject areas.”"-Ms. Soriano, Waianae Elementary School, Waianae, HI Share
Images courtesy of Ellen Peterson
"“The 3Doodler pens created opportunities to explore reading from a different angle. As a result, scores increased by more than 10% overall and students made gains. This project encouraged at-risk readers to re-compose as they read and respond to text through visual literacy, technology, and engineering. The 3Doodler pens are AWESOME!”"-Mrs. Epps-Primas, Best Academy 6-12, Atlanta, GA Share "“After some practice and learning the technique, they were drawing people, animals, cars, plants, and putting together helicopters. It was truly amazing to see their projects come to life with all sorts of objects and vibrant colors.”"-Ms. Obata, Dewey Elementary School, San Gabriel, CA Share "“Students love the instant gratification of Doodling. The 3Doodler pens are more exciting than markers, pens, or paper, and more accessible than a full scale 3D printer. 3Doodler pens are a gateway to technology. My makerspace is 50% girls at all times, and 3Doodler is a great way to get girls interested in tech.”"-Robin Fosdick, Makerspace Coordinator, Morse Library, Natick, MA Share "“I’d definitely recommend 3Doodler to other teachers because it helps teach students to build 3D shapes from 2D shapes. Students can create anything they can think of. Where they are limited with building blocks, 3Doodler pens can make any shape.”"-Roland Fisher, Owner/Operator, Engineering for Kids, Indianapolis, IN Share


"“These pens have helped the students harness their creativity and have really allowed some students that tend to struggle with relationships and peers to shine. They amaze the other students with their skills and creations and it raises their confidence. That has opened the door for them to begin to build positive relationships with others.”"-Mrs. O'Reilly, Pembroke Elementary School, Virginia Beach, VA Share "“My students have worked non-stop to figure out the best way to build in 3 dimensions with our pens. They are helping each other, experimenting with new ideas, and building onto each other’s projects. In short, they are thinking! The best part is that they don’t even mind doing the work because they have a new “toy” to work with. Everyone is happy!”"-Ellen Peterson, Smithfield Middle School, Smithfield, VA Share
Images courtesy of Susanne Firestone
"“The students have loved using them to create sculptures, furniture, and prototypes for their projects. It’s been fun watching them create and teach each other tips and tricks on how to best use the 3Doodler pens. We are even finding ways to use the scraps and pieces that didn’t get used in finished sculptures.”"-Mrs. Kalcevic, Ardis Ann Middle School, Bentonville, AR Share "“The 3Doodler pens have been such a blessing to spark creativity in students that were otherwise stuck in a box. Bringing their 2-D learning into a 3-D world has brought basic learning and engagement into real life experiences they will never forget. As I write, my students are working cooperatively to develop 3-D models of their Simple Machines and then connecting them to create a new type of machine that can help the community.”"-Mrs. Smith, George Washington Carver Elementary School, Richmond Hill, GA Share

We want to express our sincere gratitude for all that each of you do to support the leaders of tomorrow. We are so happy that our 3D pens are a part of your teaching journey, and we are honored to be partners with you in the classroom.

Other teachers want to hear about your experiences with EdTech!

Share your story with them on Twitter.

Tag Us: @3Doodler, #3Doodler, #3DoodlerEDU
Posted in EDU

Kick off 2020 with 3Doodler Lessons and Tips from a Teacher

Getting lesson plans in order and planning for your class can be very time consuming, and with coming back after the holiday break there is a lot on your plate.

To help you transition back to school with ease, we have about 100 step-by-step lesson plans available in almost every subject! They are written by teachers, for teachers, and they call out alignment with educational standards such as NGSS, ISTE, CSTA, and Common Core.

Below is a list of some highlighted K-12 lessons that your class can launch the New Year with. We also have tips from Ellen Peterson, Smithfield Middle School’s Technology Resource Teacher, to help you get the most out of 3Doodler lesson plans.

K-2nd Grade

"When they have the opportunity to make models of their own, the learning that takes place is significant! Making models helps my students dive deeper into the content, plus, they usually are having fun while they are doing it."-Ellen Peterson Share
Lasso-Doodler Roundup
Time: Two 45-60 minute sessions
Skill: Beginner
Grades: K to 2nd

In this lesson, students will work with a partner to lasso words together that create contractions. Students will doodle a lasso, use it to isolate words that form contractions and then doodle the contractions to share with the class.

*Session 1 may be used for doodling the lasso.
*Session 2 may be used for lassoing and doodling the contractions.

STEM: Doodle-Parachute-Jumpers (Design Investigation)
Time: Two 45-60 minute sessions
Skill: Beginner
Grades: K to 2nd

In this lesson, students will work in pairs using the 3Doodler to design and create different parachute jumpers, as well as an aerodynamic parachute crafted with everyday objects, e.g., coffee filters and string. Students will make predictions, collaborate, problem-solve, test and retest in this hands-on design project.

MATH: Doodle-Touch-Dots (Addition)
Time: One 30-45 minute sessions
Skill: Beginner
Grades: K to 2nd

In this activity, students will work in pairs to practice adding numbers from 0-9 using touch dots. Students will add touch dots to numbers, and then doodle their own touch dot numbers to create unique addition problems to solve.

3rd-5th Grade

"One thing I recommend to teachers when doing 3Doodler lessons is to build a prototype before asking their students to make one so they can have a reference."-Ellen Peterson Share
STEM: Stars and Constellations
Time: One 45-minutes session
Skill: Intermediate
Grades: 3rd to 5th

In this activity, students will work in pairs to research what causes the apparent brightness of stars and constellations. Students will write a fact-based argument to respond to this question and then create a model of a selected constellation with a 3Doodler and glow in the dark plastic sticks.

Doodle-the-Dots (Multiplication Patterns)
Time: One - 45 minute session
Skill: Intermediate
Grades: 3rd to 5th

In this activity, students will work independently to practice multiplication by connecting-the-dots with a 3Doodler. Students will predict which numbers will result in the same shapes. Students will combine shapes to create an artistic display of their multiplication facts.

6th-8th Grade

"If you are expecting your students to work in groups to share a pen, I recommend clearly defining roles for each group member, or setting time limits for pen use. When using timers in groups, make sure the other group members have something to do while waiting for their turn to Doodle, like drawing their ideas, writing about them, or otherwise."-Ellen Peterson Share
ELA: 3Doodler Stop-Motion
Time: One 45-minute session
Skill: Intermediate
Grades: 6th to 8th

In this activity, students will work in pairs or small groups to identify the theme of a fictional text, summarize a scene that best reflects the theme, and create a 3Doodler stop-motion animation to enact the scene. Creative thinking skills will be integrated into this hands-on project that will help you assess your students' level of comprehension.

STEM: Doodled Animal Prosthetics
Time: One-two 50-minute sessions
Skill: Intermediate
Grades: 6th to 8th

Doodle Doctor, STAT!

In this bioengineering and design activity, students will work in pairs to design and doodle a prototype for an animal prosthesis that meets the constraints of a simulated design problem.

9th-12th Grade

"Once you’ve decided on a specific lesson, make sure you have plenty of extra materials on hand. For new students, they need a certain amount of “playing” before they create a 3D model for a specific assignment. I have my students make a small stick figure statue and I have them practice molding a few parts together before expecting them to produce something assignment-related."-Ellen Peterson Share
The Basic Unit of Life: Prokaryotic and Eukaryotic Cells (STEM)
Time: Two 60-minute sessions
Skill: Advanced
Grades: 9th to 12th

In this activity, students will work in pairs to doodle two cell models, one of a prokaryotic cell, and one of a eukaryotic cell. The students will build all parts in each model such as the nucleus, plasma, cytoplasm, mitochondrion, etc. The student pairs will analyze and record the differences and similarities between the cells.

Time: Two 45-minute sessions
Skill: Intermediate
Grades: 9th to 12th

In this activity, students will work individually to create a Rutherford model of an atom. Students will also work with a partner who will be responsible for double-checking their work for accuracy as the project is worked on. Their work will be shared with the rest of the class and displayed for other classes to see.

Want to see more free K-12 lessons? Go browse our 3D Pen lesson library.

Other teachers want to see what you’re doing in your learning environment! Share your classroom happenings with them on Twitter, and be sure to follow Ellen Peterson.

Tag Us: @3Doodler, #3Doodler, #3DoodlerEDU

Banner image courtesy of Brittany Ballou .

Brittany Ballou on Harnessing Student Excitement + Winter Lesson Plan

In this blog post...
  • See Brittany Ballou’s New Winter Geometry Lesson Plan (elementary students) here!

  • To save time on grading, create student rubrics for project based learning (PBL) and grade them throughout the project process.

  • Hands-on activities will help you harness student excitement before the winter break. PBL will bring focused fun and keep students on the move, concentrated on a topic, and collaborating with others.

Brittany Ballou

December is such an invigorating time of year!

Both teachers and students are looking forward to the winter break, and it can be increasingly challenging for students to contain their excitement in the classroom.

We had a chance to catch up with STEAM teacher, Brittany Ballou, who not only wrote a superb winter lesson plan, but also provided some tips on bringing focused fun to your class before the holiday.

Be sure to check out Brittany’s Winter Lesson Plan here or check out a video of her class in action.

Q and A with Brittany Ballou

3Doodler: Thanks so much for meeting with us, Brittany, and for writing the winter lesson plan. Do you have any tips for other teachers on how to keep students engaged in the classroom before winter break?

The holidays are one of my favorite times of the school year because students are filled with excitement.

Harness that excitement and you’ll have them engaged. Fun hands-on activities will get your students focused on learning without even realizing they’re learning. Don’t give them another worksheet. Instead, use literature to connect STEM/STEAM projects. Collect all of the recyclables, use Legos, pull out your 3Doodlers, and let students have fun. Give them structure on a project topic and you’ll see excitement and learning abound in your classroom!

Do you have suggestions for how teachers can make time to grade papers at school while keeping students focused and happy?

Teachers should create rubrics that students can access for their project-based learning.

As students are working, have your rubrics on a clipboard, ask them questions, look at their products, observe the teamwork, and grade the rubrics throughout the project process. That way you are not stuck with grading the project at the very end. Pace yourself and you’ll find that project grading is easy, and it doesn’t have to take time away from either the lesson or your home life.

The weeks leading up to winter break can be stressful for teachers. Do you have any advice that can help teachers during this time of year?

Let yourself and your students have fun. You have spent the first several months of school building relationships with your students. Now, use what you know about their interests to focus their learning. I love project-based learning because students learn without even realizing it.

If you haven’t done a hands-on project, yet, this is the perfect time to try one. Don’t stress about it being perfect, but instead focus on giving students an opportunity to explore their learning in a different way. Let them get up and move. With all of that excitement, they get antsy and the last thing you want to do is keep them sitting in one place. Project-based learning will keep them on the move, focused on a topic, and collaborating with others.

Doodle Snowflakes: Geometry and Symmetry
Time Required: Two 45-60 minute sessions
Skill Level: Beginner
Recommended Grades: K to 2nd

In this lesson, students will work individually using the 3Doodler pens to doodle a geometrical snowflake that is also symmetrical. Students will review the concepts of geometry, patterns, and symmetry.

Do you have tips for bringing focused fun to your classroom before the winter break?

Other teachers want to know! Share them with the EDU community on Twitter, and be sure to follow Brittany Ballou.

Tag Us: @3Doodler, #3Doodler, #3DoodlerEDU

Teacher Spotlight: ISTE STEM’s Steven Jones

Do you want to hear about STEAM education from an ISTE expert?

Steven Jones, co-chair of the ISTE STEM personal learning network, is a middle school STEAM educator from Riverside, Illinois.

Steven believes it is his job as a teacher to support his students in solving real-world problems today, and using technology in his lessons is essential in bringing that to fruition.

"It is our role as educators to support students. We can do this through facilitating the use of empathy and EdTech to improve our communities. This can be as simple as using a 3Doodler pen to create tactual artwork for someone with visual impairments, or as powerful as using artificial intelligence to better our society."-Steven Jones Share

In this Teacher Spotlight, Steven gives us insights on STEAM education in the classroom, and how educational technologies have a positive impact on learning in his middle school curriculum.

Thanks so much for meeting with us, Steven! Can you please tell us about yourself, the school you work at, your role at ISTE, and a brief vision of your goals as a leader in education?

I’ve been a STEAM Facilitator at Hauser Jr. High in Riverside Illinois for the last few years. The students that I work with are in 6th through 8th grade.

"I believe that the 3Doodler pens, the CAD software, and everything else we utilize in the classroom makes learning more hands-on, meaningful, and engaging. There is something powerful about being able to create something as a prototype or a functional tool to solve a problem in someone’s life." Share

I teach an introductory class to STEAM, and I offer advanced STEAM classes as students move through each grade level. Some of the big topics covered are Design Thinking and the Engineering Design Process. Along the way students also learn about CAD, 3D printing, and building circuits. Prior to my current position, I was an Instructional Technology Specialist for grades K-8 in Chicago for a number of years. Starting this fall, I will be covering Artificial Intelligence in 7th grade.

Due to the recent completion of the ISTE-GM AI Explorations class, I feel confident introducing it to my students. I am currently the Co-Chair of ISTE STEM PLN along with Charles Randolph. This past year at ISTE in Philadelphia, Jessica Shupik and I presented on how we implement STEAM and 3D printing in two different classroom environments.

I believe my background in information technology, programming, art, and design has put me in a unique position as an educator. My perspective is a bit different and I am able to share my unique skill set with students on a daily basis.

Students using the Create+

As an educator I seek to provide my students with the ability to creatively problem solve and work collaboratively to meet the needs of people right now. This year my 8th graders made an assistive bottle opener that is being used by people with arthritis in the UK, and my 6th graders made tactile matching games that are being used by students with visual impairments in a nearby school district.

Have you found any benefits using 3Doodler pens in the classroom?

I received my first 3Doodler pens about halfway through the 2018-19 school year. The benefits have been wonderful. We are still learning together, but there has been instant engagement, and the ability to create right away has been very exciting.

While we still use Tinkercad and Fusion 360 as well as our 3D printers, it can take a considerable amount of time for students to see the final design they can touch. Using the 3Doodler Create+ is a more hands on approach and lowers the bar of entry to 3D design for students. I teach six STEAM related classes across three grades and I have utilized the Create+ in half of those. My seventh graders have used them the most in the STEAM Design class.

A classroom creation

In 7th grade, my students primarily use the 3Doodler pens in our architecture and natural disasters projects. Students have to pick an area that is greatly impacted by natural disasters such as hurricanes or earthquakes, and design a home to meet the needs of a family based on specific criteria and constraints. In addition to drawing appropriately scaled down blueprints of their home, they also have the choice of using the Create+ to make a prototype of furniture for specific rooms, or create the entire house. This is done in conjunction with CAD and Fused Filament Fabrication.

My 6th graders are currently using the Create+ to design prototypes for the games they are making for people with visual impairments. I have a few other students that are getting acquainted with the pens by going through some of the 3Doodler stencil tutorials with my support.

What other EdTech do you use in the classroom, and how do you feel that these technologies enhance learning amongst your students?

We use Arduino Uno, Raspberry Pi, Tinkercad, Fusion 360, and two 3D printers. Supplemental tools include Google Apps for Education, WeVideo, Soundtrap, Inkscape, and a few others. I believe that the 3Doodler pens, the CAD software, and everything else we utilize in the classroom makes learning more hands-on, meaningful, and engaging. There is something powerful about being able to create something as a prototype or a functional tool to solve a problem in someone’s life. These tools are helpful when I promote iteration and the continual improvement of ideas and designs.

How do you feel that EdTech is impacting the students of today for the jobs of tomorrow?

I think there are many wonderful EdTech tools available for free or for a moderate cost that help prepare students for future success in a wide range of fields. At the same time, they are tools and students need to learn how to use them safely, responsibly, and in a meaningful way.

3Doodler 3D Modeling

It is our role as educators to support students. We can do this through facilitating the use of empathy and EdTech to improve our communities. This can be as simple as using a 3Doodler pen to create tactual artwork for someone with visual impairments, or as powerful as using artificial intelligence to better our society.

Would you like to share any success stories with us?


While most of my students enjoy learning and creating with CAD software, a small percentage of them don’t find it intuitive and they struggle with it. However, after I introduced the 3Doodler pen, they had a newfound interest in the class.

Those kinds of little successes are important to me. I am truly happy to find new tools that help all of my students become engaged learners. We will accomplish even more next school year after I take some time this summer to do some additional planning.

Please be sure to follow Steven Jones on Twitter (@mrjonesteaches) to keep up with all of his classroom happenings!

Inspired by Steven? Share your stories with us on Twitter and connect with the 3Doodler EDU community!

@3Doodler #3Doodler

Curriculum from the Cauldron: Halloween STEM

October is finally here, and one thing is on students’ minds… Halloween!

We know that they can hardly contain the excitement as the 31st inches closer. To help you bring some focused fun to your lessons, we have compiled a list of STEM projects with some Halloween flare.

Spooky STEM Activity for All Grades!

STEM Challenge: Catapult Pumpkin Launch

Have you ever heard of a pumpkin launch? We have just the activity to help you do it in your classroom.


Share the Goal

Pairs of students will create a pumpkin launcher that shoots mini pumpkins the farthest in the classroom. There will be at least 2 rounds of the pumpkin launch so that each partner can launch the pumpkin.

The components of the catapult
  1. Split students into pairs.
  2. Have the students discuss and write down two hypotheses regarding the launch, such as whether a half a pumpkin would go farther or less far than a whole pumpkin, or if any modifications, such as the size of the catapult, could affect the distance the pumpkin goes.
  3. Have them each Doodle parts of one Catapult Stencil to make a small scale pumpkin launcher. *Students can split the stencil in half and take turns Doodling the component pieces together to make the final product.
  4. Once the Doodled pumpkin launcher is completed, have students come to the front of the classroom.*Safety first: Before handing out pumpkins for the first launch, ensure nobody is in the line of mini pumpkin fire!
  5. Hand out one mini pumpkin, then have each pair launch their pumpkins in the classroom one by one.
  6. One student from the pair will launch the pumpkin, and the other student from the pair will use a measuring tape to see how far the pumpkin was launched from the catapult. The teacher can note the measurement on the board for each pair in the rounds of launching.
  7. Allow the pairs to modify their design in between rounds based on inferences made during the launch.
  8. Repeat steps 4-6. *Note: you can do two rounds of the pumpkin launch, or as many rounds as you’d like.
  9. Finally, have students calculate the average distance between their launch rounds based on the numbers written on the board.
  10. Announce the winning pair!

Hooray for Halloween Lesson Plans

If you’re looking for a full scale lesson plan to bring the ghoul into school, these are sure to spark some high-spirited engagement in the classroom!

Fibonacci Spiderwebs Lesson Plan

Use our creepy, crawly Fibonacci lesson plan to help students understand mathematics! They will gain a better understanding of the Fibonacci sequence, its presence in nature, and create their very own spider webs based on the golden spiral. Be sure to use the Doodled spider webs and spiders to decorate your classroom for Halloween!

TIME REQUIRED: Two 45-60 minute sessions
SKILL LEVEL: Intermediate

Elemental Superheroes and Supervillians Lesson Plan

In our Elemental Superheroes and Supervillians lesson plan, students will creatively explore elements from the periodic table. Students will work in pairs to design their own 3Doodler contour superhero or supervillain mask, which will embody the qualities and associations of their assigned periodic element. Have students wear their masks after the completion of the lesson plan to bring the Halloween spirit into the classroom!

TIME REQUIRED: Three 40-minute sessions
SKILL LEVEL: Intermediate

Are you excited to bring Curriculum from the Cauldron into your classroom? Please let us know on social media, and be sure to share pictures of your students’ projects!

@3Doodler #3Doodler #3DoodlerEDU

All Glow in the Dark Tubes are 2 for 1!
Load up on plastics with our spine chilling sale! While spooky supplies last. Act now before they disappear!
*Offer expires 10/31/19

Shop Now

Posted in EDU

Giving in 3D: Make Picture Books Accessible with 3Doodler and Build a Better Book

Imagine Where the Wild Things Are without the iconic images of Max and the malicious beasts.

Could you experience the humor and horror of Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! without seeing the grumpy grinch himself?

With 3Doodler pens, it is possible to bring these remarkable illustrations to those who have never seen them before. By feeling 3D outlines, people with visual impairments across the world can experience these classic characters in a new way.

We have teamed up with Build a Better Book to make this dream a reality. We’re asking classrooms, artists and individuals across the globe to join us in making cherished illustrations accessible.

This year, International 3D Printing Day and Giving Tuesday both fall on December 3rd, and we thought this would be the perfect time to share your Doodles with those who have never been able to experience them before. We are calling this day 3D Giving Day, a first-of-its kind humanitarian day centered around giving 3D creations.

3D Giving Day with 3Doodler

For classrooms, this is a low prep activity that will bring meaning and engagement to your students as they gear up for the holidays. For artists and individuals, it can be as simple or as intricate as you’d like!

Materials Needed

How to Participate
  • Fill out this form to register for the event.

  • If you’re a classroom, pick one or more books for your students to use for the project. If you’re an artist or individual, pick the book of your choice. We’ve included a list of suggested books below.

  • Have participants use DoodlePads or clear laminated sheets on top of the selected picture book pages they wish to trace. Tip: Use masking tape to hold the DoodlePad or clear laminated sheet in place so it doesn’t move while the image is being traced.

  • Next, use the 3Doodler pens and filaments to trace the images on top of the DoodlePad or laminated sheet.

  • Once the Doodles are finished, carefully bend the DoodlePad or laminated sheet to pop the Doodles off.

  • Take pictures of the completed Doodles and share them on social media. @3Doodler #3Doodler #BuildaBetterBook #3DGivingDay

  • Email us at [email protected]odler.com and we will help you find the best local charity to take your Doodles to.

*Be sure to check our compatibility chart to ensure you get the right filaments and accessories for your 3Doodler pens. We welcome mixed media approaches to the project, so please feel free to use traditional 3D printers, cardboard, clay, etc.

Some Suggested Picture Books For 3D Giving Day (Linked Below)

How The Grinch Stole Christmas!
Don’t Let The Pigeon Drive the Bus
Where The Wild Things Are
The Giving Tree
How Do Dinosaurs Say Happy Chanukah?
The Very Hungry Caterpillar
The Snowy Day
The Cat in the Hat
Make Way For Ducklings
The Polar Express
Llama Llama Red Pajama
Elephant and Piggie

We are so excited about 3D Giving Day, and we can’t wait to see your gifts to the community.

Please share your 3D Giving Day creations on social media, give Tricia and Mindy a follow, and stay tuned to our emails for more to come!

@3Doodler #3Doodler #BuildaBetterBook #3DGivingDay

The Build a Better Book project works with school and library Makerspaces to engage youth in the design and fabrication of inclusive media, including picture books, games and graphics. They use both low- and high-tech Makerspace tools, such as 3D printers, laser cutters, MakeyMakey, conductive boards and craft materials, youth design, fabricate, test and refine multi-modal books, games and STEM graphics that incorporate tactile and audio features. These products are designed by and for learners with visual impairments as well as other physical and learning disabilities. Through the project, middle and high school youth develop technology skills and learn about STEM careers as they design and create multi-modal picture books, graphics and games that can be seen, touched and heard! Learn more about Build a Better Book here.

Images Courtesy of Tricia Fuglestad

Posted in EDU

Teacher Spotlight: Naomi Harm

"We want to empower students with real life skills so they too can influence positive change, while addressing and solving problems and challenges in our world."-Naomi Harm ShareWelcome to our first teacher spotlight of the fall 2019 school year!

We’re honored to share a very inspirational story with you about Naomi Harm, a leader in STEM education. Over the summer, Naomi hosted a series of events titled “Summer Tech Splash” where teachers and students worked collaboratively to build prototypes of a self-driving car. Her event was even featured on Milwaukee’s NPR!

We had a chance to catch up with Naomi, learn about her goals as a leader in STEM education, and hear all about the successes of her events over the summer. She was also generous enough to share her lesson plan with the 3Doodler EDU community.

Naomi, thank you for taking the time to meet with us. Can you please tell us about yourself, the STEM Learning institution you founded, and your goals as a leader in STEM education?

My name is Naomi Harm I am an edtech woman, an instigator of STEM innovation, and a thought leader and influencer. I truly welcome each and every opportunity to share my expertise on project based learning (PBL), student-centered learning, brain-based instructional approaches, and STEM and NGSS activities.

I am also the CEO and founder of Innovative Educator Consulting, a professional STEM learning company that supports women in leadership. We provide innovative education for teachers and administrators that aligns to the ISTE standards.

Our goal is to give teachers everything they need to provide students with experiences that will enhance the pursuit of their future STEM careers. We want to empower students with real life skills so they too can influence positive change, while addressing and solving problems and challenges in our world.

We are so inspired by your Summer Tech Splash events in Wisconsin. Can you please share a brief overview of the events, the experiences of the attendees, and any notable learning breakthroughs you witnessed?

Every summer we offer a multitude of STEM learning events based on the needs and requests of K-12 educators and students. This year, we focused on maximizing creativity, collaboration and communication through STEM design thinking activities. Many mediums were explored, including 3D Printing, coding, robotics, LED circuitry, and Google suite programs to enhance collaboration. Students and teachers created ebooks to share their learning experiences.

The one workshop that left a lasting impact on each and every attendee was the experience of creating a self-driving car prototype with 3Doodler Start and Create pens. Attendees worked in groups through an assembly line scenario, and each participant had a specific task that contributed to the self-driving car prototype. Everyone was actively involved and played a part in the success of the final product. Car stencils were provided as an option to assist with building the car structure, and to inspire design ideas. Some attendees decided to sketch out their own original designs to build their car from to make it truly unique.

What benefits have you noticed with using 3Doodler pens in the educational events and workshops that you host?

3Doodler pens definitely create more engaged learners, and with the pens there is a lot of room to personalize the learning. Every final product is different and unique. At risk students, special needs and English-language learner (ELL) students become instant leaders and peer coaches through the collaborative activities with 3Doodler pens.

Many attendees commented on how calming and soothing the designing and creating processes were with the 3D pens. The tactile tools helped them stay focused, and they had more creative conversations with their teammates. They all felt like they were part of a dynamic team, as they all had a special task to contribute to the final prototype of the car.

Both the educators and students liked that the project didn’t involve screen time or computers. I found this statement so enlightening!

"3Doodler pens definitely create more engaged learners, and with the pens there is a lot of room to personalize the learning."-Naomi Harm Share

Engineering Design Challenge Lesson Plan

You can follow along with Naomi’s lesson plan right here.

Be sure to share pictures of your classroom prototypes on social media!

@3Doodler #3Doodler #3DoodlerEDU

To stoke the fires of inspiration in your classroom, be sure to follow Naomi Harm on Twitter!

Posted in EDU

Break the Back to School Ice: Design Challenge + Social-Emotional Learning

As an educator, you may be asking yourself, how can I kick off the school year in the best way possible?

Well, we’ve got something special for you that will bring some social-emotional learning (SEL) and design thinking to your students in a fun and engaging way.

Icebreakers and design challenges are fantastic activities to cultivate meaningful experiences at school, both socially and academically. Why not get the best of both worlds with our back to school icebreaker design challenge?

Icebreaker Design Challenge

Materials Needed

  1. 3Doodler Pens (1 pen per pair of students)
  2. 3Doodler Filaments (5 strands per student)
  3. Optional: Scrap paper or cardboard and scissors to use with the filament to make the project mixed media
Icebreaker Design Challenge
  • Instruct students to close their eyes and spend one minute reflecting on what they love about school. After the minute is up, with students’ eyes still closed, ask students to reflect on a time where a specific tool at school helped them accomplish an important goal.

  • Share the goal: Students will create a model of the tool that came to mind with 3Doodler pens.

  • Split students into groups and pass out 3Doodler pens and filaments (and paper/cardboard if you choose to use that as an additional material). Have students take turns creating their prototypes with the pens.

  • Circle Share: To encourage listening, have the groups position their chairs in a circle so that all students can easily make eye contact with one another. Have each student share their model and why they chose that specific tool. To facilitate empathy, encourage deeper conversation around what each student shares by asking the group, “Why did they choose that tool to prototype?” or “What point of view are they coming from?”

  • Extension: Have students brainstorm on how the tool that benefited them could be improved. Instruct students to modify their model to include the improvement, then repeat step 5 for circle sharing.

This activity aligns with the following ISTE Standards:

  • ISTE 4C: Students develop, test and refine prototypes as part of a cyclical design process.
  • ISTE 5C: Students break problems into component parts, extract key information, and develop descriptive models to understand complex systems or facilitate problem-solving.

Building strong relationships with and among your new students is foundational to creating a safe and enjoyable learning environment. In this space, students feel more trusting of their teachers and peers, and more comfortable and confident asking questions and taking risks. Check out this amazing Cult of Pedagogy article to learn more about building strong relationships with your students.

Do you love this activity? Please share your classroom prototypes with us on social media!
@3Doodler #3Doodler #3DoodlerEDU

Posted in EDU

STEM Challenge: This International Cat Day, Curiosity Doesn’t Kill the Cat

"‘I know some good games we could play,’
said the cat.
‘I know some new tricks,’
said the cat in the hat.
‘a lot of good tricks.
I will show them to you.
your mother will not mind at all if I do.’"-Dr. Seuss, The Cat in the Hat Share
We’re not kitten you.

We have what purr-haps may be the most fun and engaging STEM challenge of all time for International Cat Day, which takes place on August 8th.

And it is inspired by a famous fable featuring a funny and furry feline… The Cat in the Hat, written by none other than Dr. Seuss.

How about that!

Cat in the Hat STEM Challenge


Share the goal: How tall can you make the cat’s hat?

  • Doodle the Hat: Doodle circles and lines together in layers of red and white for your hat
  • You can use the circle on your DoodlePad as a stencil, and the grid to Doodle lines for assembling the circles to make your hat.
  • Engineer the tallest hat you can without it toppling over
  • STEM learners can compete against each other, either in teams or one-on-one


  • Ready, Set… Ensure the participants have the pens and the filaments ready
  • Go! Have the participants start at the same time
  • Avoid Cat-astrophe! Carefully engineer each layer to ensure it stands strong
  • Make Hiss-tory! Share the winning cat hat on Twitter! #3Doodler @3Doodler

Critical Thinking Tip: If your Doodled Cat Hat falls, assess the structure of it to see where the design can be improved.

We can’t wait to see your STEM cat hats!

Do you love this festive STEM activity?

Please let us know by giving us a shout out on social media. We will cherish your feedback fur-ever!

@3Doodler #3Doodler #3DoodlerEDU

Posted in EDU

Bring the Summer Reading List to Life with 3Doodler

How can you excite young minds about their summer reading list?

3Doodler has the perfect project to captivate K-12 readers.

Just share the easy steps below so they can bring their favorite character to the third dimension.

3Doodler Summer Reading Design Challenge:

  • Read a book from your summer reading list.
  • Choose a character from the story that you want to bring to life.
  • Integrate three characteristics of the character’s personality into the design.
  • Next, plan your design. Brainstorm how your figure will look, and how you will include the three characteristics. Sketch a draft to help you visualize the outcome.
  • Lift the character off of the page!
    • Check out our printable Figure Stencil which is the perfect template for your Doodle, or feel free to create your own.

      If you have the 3Doodler Start, the Figurine Activity Kit will help you easily create an opposable figure.

Here is a Doodled character from a well known book series. Can you guess who it is? It was created with our free, printable Figure Stencil. Just use the stencil as the template, and add the characteristics of your choice!

Ask your parent or teacher to share your Doodle on social media!

We can’t wait to see all of the Summer Reading Doodles. Tag @3Doodler and share them on twitter, instagram, or facebook.

@3Doodler #SummerReading #WhatWillYouCreate

Posted in EDU

Rocket Launch your Independence Day with our STEM Activity

How can you bring some lively learning to your 4th of July festivities?

We have just what you need to bring some focused fun and critical thinking to the holiday.

STEM explorers will become “rocket scientists” with our Doodle Rocket experiment. Check out the materials list, step-by-step instructions, and critical thinking questions below.

STEM Rocket Materials List

  • Safety Goggles
  • 1 3Doodler Start or 3Doodler Create+
  • 3Doodler Plastics (Eco-Plastic for Start, ABS or PLA for the Create+)
  • 1 Doodle Rocket Fins/Nose Cone Template
  • 1 Film Canister (or more for repeat trials)
  • 1 Box of antacid tablets
  • Cup of Water
  • 1 Teaspoon (for measuring)
  • Glue Gun*
  • *Please ask for an adult to assist. Follow the glue gun’s instructions and take note of the warnings.


  1. Doodle fins and a nose cone for your Doodle Rocket. (For the nose cone, take a piece of scrap paper and roll it to make a cone. Tape it to stay in place and Doodle over your cone shape. For the fins, you can draw a right angled triangle and trace it with your 3Doodler.)
  2. Affix the Doodled pieces to your film canister with glue and let dry completely.
  3. Go outside with the Doodle Rocket and lid, and put your safety goggles on. (Ensure you are 12 feet away from lightbulbs, breakables, and bystanders.)
  4. Break the antacid tablet in half. (You can alter the size of the antacid tablet in repeat trials.)
  5. Add 1 tsp/5ml of water into the film canister.
  6. Quickly place the antacid tablet into the canister and put the lid on.
  7. Swiftly place the film canister on the ground with the cap side down.
  8. Speedily step back 7 feet or more, then turn and face the rocket.
  9. In approximately 8-12 seconds your Doodle Rocket will launch.
  10. IMPORTANT: If it doesn’t launch, wait 60 seconds before approaching the rocket to examine it.

Make it an Experiment with these Critical Thinking Questions

  1. Can you hypothesize how the Doodle Rocket works? (Answer at the bottom)
  2. Does the size of the antacid tablet piece impact the time it takes for the rocket to launch?
  3. Does the amount of water in the canister influence the launch time?
  4. Does the amount of water in the canister impact the height the rocket reaches?
  5. Can the direction of the Doodle Rocket’s launch be influenced by the shape of the Doodled fins and nose cone? Doodle some alternative shapes for your fins and cone to test this theory.
  6. How is this Doodle Rocket similar to a NASA rocket taking off? How is it different?

We want to see pictures and videos of your Doodle Rockets!

Let us know how you enjoyed this experiment by sharing on social media.

@3Doodler #3Doodler #3DoodlerEDU

SAFETY FIRST: While the Doodle Rocket will not produce explosions like a space shuttle, the film canister will shoot off with force and liquid will gush out. Wear eye protection and do not aim the rocket at anyone or anything. Failure to follow these instructions could result in harm to you or to bystanders.

How does the Doodle Rocket work?

Answer: As the water dissolves the antacid tablet, carbon dioxide is released and pressure is created inside the film canister. As more and more gas is released, pressure builds up until the cap is separated from the canister body.

Posted in EDU

Favorite STEM Tweets of the 2018-19 School Year

It is with much gratitude that we take a moment to thank you for another great school year with 3Doodler EDU.

We are very excited to share some of our favorite STEM tweets from the 2018-2019 academic year with you.

From technology and engineering, to math and science, it is so wonderful to see your classroom bloom through STEM.

Did your favorite STEM tweet not make the list?
@BIS_library students have some fun with EdTech in their new maker space.

This @pmsmakerspace student made a model of Captain America’s shield!

@JillMoniqueEdu’s students lift Georgia’s coastline off of the map through creating 3D models of the southern state’s lighthouses.

@mrjonesteaches guides 7th graders in building 3D structures with the Create+.

@NJBarbieri’s 2nd grade classroom sees if dune fences lessen erosion through an innovative experiment.

Here are @MrsBecknauld’s students hard at work making atlases in Geography class.

STEM students love the focused fun of creating rollercoasters in @RahRahReading’s library!

The students of @D83Spartans engineer their own corner bookmarks in STEM club.

@clasurdo’s maker space students engineer models of monumental inventions.

@siencmatters has her students create a new species with adaptations that suit their environment.

@MelissaKempski’s classroom investigates perspective with 3D pens.

@kippdohm’s students lift their code off of the screen with 3D pens.

Share your favorite posts with us on social media because we are all about STEM in the classroom.

@3Doodler #3Doodler #3DoodlerEDU

@BIS_library students have some fun with EdTech in their new maker space.

Posted in EDU

3Doodler Raises Important Questions with Unique Answers

Welcome to our 4-part blog series on Demystifying Doodling. Written by educator and author, Julia Deck, this series explores the use of 3D pens in the classroom and reflects on common questions that teachers have about Doodling.

Students sometimes hold up a Doodle and ask me, “Does this look right?” I often answer them with the question, “What do you think?”

How far we’ve come from the days when our teachers were the keepers of all knowledge, along with the answer key at the back of the book. Those were limited times that yielded restrictive outcomes. Today’s teacher is a guide who facilitates instruction. Authentic questions arise naturally during the investigative process with students as the architects of their own learning.

I have found 3Doodler pens to be great tools that inspire growth-promoting questions among my students. You may wonder why questions are so important to learning. Here are six reasons students should ask questions.

1. Asking questions develops self-confidence.

While confusion may arise for a number of reasons, even the shyest or most hesitant student raises the proper questions when strongly invested in the outcome. As a result, students overcome their fears of social norms and pressures, developing their voices in the pursuit of a higher purpose.

2. No question is too silly to ask.

A question that may appear absurd on its face may only seem so in light of the current thinking. Students in my class are in awe of the historical thinkers who asked the “ridiculous” questions. Newton once pondered why an apple falls from a tree, but the Earth does not fall from the sky. His steadfast passion for answers, despite condescension from peers, led him to epiphanies far beyond the consciousness of his time. Students who ask “silly” questions become intellectual and visceral thinkers that strive for answers outside the current norm of expectations.

3. Students overcome bias when inspired to question why.

Beliefs and judgments are tested in concrete ways when designing hands-on solutions. The design process guides students to articulate new questions that test their preconceived notions. The results may alter their mindset, which influences the broader ways in which students think about the world.

4. Asking questions generates better questions.

In other words, the more we question, the better we become at honing in on the questions that guide us through our discovery. The first question is only the beginning. There is an art to crafting the subsequent questions that arise as a consequence. Each question unpacks a new one, like a set of Russian nesting dolls. From largest to smallest, students’ questions will eventually lead them to the essential core question lying within the heart of any discovery.

5. Questioning raises the consciousness of our society.

When we think we know it all, we cease to question. Discussions become close-ended monologues when individuals are steadfast in their beliefs. Questioning widens our thinking, allowing in fresh perspectives and generating an open-minded exchange of ideas, promoting the greater good, rather than the independent gain.

And the most important reason…

In life, there is no list of questions to direct your learning. That means that students need to be critical thinkers who can not only answer, but ask the questions that direct and inspire others. You cannot send your students off with a list, but you can present them with learning opportunities that make them seek answers to their own questions for a lifetime.

Julia Dweck is a published children’s author and public school teacher who works with students in grades K-5. Her teaching style focuses on the importance of creative and open-ended thinking. Julia is the 2016 winner of the Da Vinci Science Award for her innovative integration of technology in the classroom.

She serves as a school resource and exemplar for inventive implementation of the arts and sciences. Julia encourages her students, friends, and peers to take risks, whenever possible, in order to grow. Follow her on Twitter @GiftedTawk

Bring your Lessons to Life with the 3Doodler STEM Kit!

Want to bring sought after STEM innovation to your classroom? No matter the subject or grade, 3Doodler has you covered. With the NEW 3Doodler STEM Activity Kit, your students can bring their lessons to life!

The DoodleMolds are versatile and adaptable for any project, and are a great tool for open-ended, STEMulating classroom experiences.

From operational designs and opposable skeletons, to machine prototypes, geodesic domes and rollercoasters, students can use the STEM Activity Kit to create objects in real time with their 3Doodler Start or Create+ pens.

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For teachers, click here to buy from 3Doodler EDU.

Each 3Doodler STEM Activity Kit includes 2 DoodleMolds, 2 project templates, and examples to inspire you, all of which enable endless possibilities!

We can’t wait to see your students’ STEM creations! Share them with us on Twitter and see what other classrooms are creating.

@3Doodler #3Doodler #STEM #3DoodlerStemKit

3Doodler is committed to providing you with the classroom solutions you need.

Check out the rest of our EDU Line!

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Top Teacher Tips for 3Doodlers

1. Do not emphasize perfection.

This is a life rule, too. As teachers, we should be modeling attention to the design process over outcome. You never want to stifle any student’s creativity, nor do you want to set goals so lofty that your students may refrain from doodling rather than fail.

2. Dare them to explore.

Consider your build area unlimited, both horizontally and vertically.Unlike 3D printers, the 3Doodler’s “build area” is infinite and can be directed up, down, left or right. Give students time to explore space in all directions.

3. Draw thicker lines.

Slimmer 3Doodled parts and details should be doodled a bit thicker or retraced. Due to the nature of the filament, you will want to keep finer details sturdier to increase the durability of your doodle.

4. Teach students patience.

Slowly count to 30 before removing filament from a stencil and then peel back gently. Although not a long wait, you need to wait long enough for the filament to harden. Otherwise, your students will stretch, tear and ruin their amazing doodles.

5. Hold stencils in place.

Tape stencil flat to table, so that it does not gap or curl under filament as you doodle. Rather than cutting out your stencil along its outline, leave a wider border around it, which can easily be taped down to a desk.

6. Allow access to the 3Doodler outside of instructional time.

This will give your students non-pressured, explorative time, during which they may come up with astounding new ways to use the 3Doodler! And, as in any new task, 3Doodling skills become stronger over time. *Model and praise persistence for the student who makes a mistake and figures out a way to fix it with his or her 3Doodler.

7. Different colors, different speed.

Note that different filament colors flow at different rates from the nozzle of the 3Doodler. In order to gain improved control of directional flow, allow students time to experiment with different colors, then record and discuss each color’s rate of flow.

8. Set reasonable goals.

Before beginning any new 3Doodler lesson with your students, try it yourself first. Know your students and their abilities, e.g., prior experience with 3Doodler and fine motor skills. Rather than set your students up for failure, offer students plenty of upfront practice time using the 3Doodler before diving into that very cool language arts lesson, creating figurative doodles.

Boo! Transform your classroom into a creepy, crawly fabrication lab this Halloween!

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9. Doodling on paper.

When Doodling on paper, choose filament and paper that contrast each other in order for students to clearly see the filament as it extrudes from the 3Doodler and down onto the paper.

10. For Teachers: Work backwards.

Create freely and then determine how what you’ve designed could be used to teach a concept within your curriculum. Give yourself time to try all sorts of ways to use the 3Doodler, rather than diving in with a specific lesson plan in mind. It’s much easier to begin wide and focus in, rather than vice versa. Furthermore, investing time in your own 3Doodling skills will make you a better doodler, too.

11. 3Doodle with your students.

Your enthusiasm for this tool and its endless possibilities will spread. Doodle alongside students during indoor recess. Offer 3Doodling as a class reward for good behavior. Hold a 3Doodling class birthday party. It’s a lot healthier than cake and a lot more fun, too!

Julia Dweck is a public school teacher who works with students in grades K-5, focusing on the importance of creative and open-ended thinking. Julia is the 2016 winner of the Da Vinci Science Award for her innovative integration of technology in the classroom.

She serves as a school resource and exemplar for inventive implementation of the arts and sciences. Julia encourages her students, friends, and peers to take risks, whenever possible, in order to grow. Follow her on Twitter @GiftedTawk

Promising Penmanship: Doodling to Master Cursive Writing

Did you know that those who learn cursive handwriting show enhanced brain development in the areas associated with working memory, thinking, and language?


It is also thought that writing in cursive significantly changes the way the brain operates since typing and printing do not stimulate the same response.

This is why 3Doodler EDU includes cursive exercises in our lesson plans to help set your students up for success!

Given the obvious neurological benefits of cursive, it is not surprising that this style of writing also enhances comprehension, as shown in the analysis of student SAT results. This analysis revealed that students who wrote their essays in cursive achieved higher marks than those who printed.

The running theory is that individuals who write in cursive have more time to concentrate on the subject matter of their essay due to the faster pace of writing in cursive as opposed to print.

"The tactile practice of handwriting leaves a memory trace in the sensorimotor part of the brain, which is retrieved when reading the letters. In other words, handwriting reinforces reading in ways that keyboarding does not."-Cindy Long, National Education Association Share
Design by Grace DuPrez

While cursive is no longer required by many schools, many educators continue to promote cursive in their classrooms due to the overwhelming benefits of using it.

At 3Doodler we’re doubling down on the theories behind cursive and how cursive enhances brain development. If there really is a proven connection between tactile practices, memory, and recall, then imagine the possibilities if we deepen that sensory experience even further – in 3D and through touch.

Design by Grace DuPrez

For your elementary school students, be sure to use our Touch Text ELA lesson plan for a fun classroom activity that explores tactile letters.

For middle school and high school students, challenge them to write their favorite quote from an assigned reading in their most promising penmanship!

Have your students benefited from cursive in the classroom?

Share your classroom story on Twitter!

#3Doodler @3Doodler #WhatWillYouCreate?

All designs by Grace DuPrez. Check her out on Instagram.

References: the New York Times and the National Education Association

Teacher Spotlight: Achieving the A in STEAM with Susanne Firestone

Do you love bringing art and design into your curriculum? We have just the educator to show you how to achieve that A in STEAM!

For this Teacher Spotlight, we had the opportunity to connect with Susanne Firestone from Presentation Academy in Louisville, KY. Her students create amazing 3D pen sculptures in her Design Studies and 3D Art classes, and we just had to get the inside scoop from her.

Can you please introduce yourself, the school you work at, and your goals as an educator?

My name is Susanne Firestone and this is my 13th year teaching at Presentation Academy. I teach 2D Drawing and Painting, 3D Art (Ceramics and Sculpture), Intro to Art, Digital Photo, and Design Studies. I am also the moderator for the National Art Honor Society. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Art Education and Art History, with a concentration in Painting, and my Master’s degree is in Gifted and Talented Education.

Presentation Academy is a Catholic, college-preparatory school for young women seeking the confidence and skills to become 21st-century leaders. Exclusively for young women in grades 9-12, Presentation Academy accepts students of all racial, ethnic, socio-economic and religious backgrounds. My school enjoys a truly diverse population, attracting bright and unique girls from over 50 zip codes throughout Jefferson, Oldham, Bullitt, and Shelby counties, southern Indiana, and the continents of Europe, Asia, and Africa.

My goals as a teacher revolve around the students not only learning from myself, but from each other. I encourage my students to challenge each other, and to experiment with new processes and techniques in order to develop different results. At the same time, I expect them to teach me so that I can learn different methods of creating and thinking.

What subjects have you utilized 3Doodler pens in?
"In my art and design classes, the 3D pens allow my students to turn their ideas into tangible works of art that they can touch and view from all sides. It makes them feel like they actually created something from nothing." Share
I’ve used the 3Doodler pens in 3D Art and Design Studies, as well as in collaboration with our Spanish class. In my art and design classes, the 3D pens allow my students to turn their ideas into tangible works of art that they can touch and view from all sides. It makes them feel like they actually created something from nothing.

When we celebrated Day of the Dead, I taught the Spanish students how to use the 3D pens during a few classes and gave them 3D printed skulls that were printed off our 3D printer. The students then took the 3D pens and decorated the skulls like they were sugar skulls, and the filament from the 3Doodler pens was the frosting. They had a great time doing this as a form of exploring social studies through art and design, and of course they were able to keep the skulls. With 3D printed skulls, they will last and not deteriorate like actual sugar skulls!

How have 3Doodler pens and other EdTech enhanced learning in your classroom?

3Doodler pens have allowed my students to create in ways they haven’t been able to develop in any other capacity. The pens have permitted my students to add onto current projects, providing details they couldn’t get otherwise. The pens have enabled me to share specific topics with my students that they can explore and investigate further on their own, leaving more time for them to work in the studio on their actual artwork, but still allowing them to learn beyond the area of art-making.

"3Doodler pens have allowed my students to create in ways they haven’t been able to develop in any other capacity. The pens have permitted my students to add onto current projects, providing details they couldn’t get otherwise." Share

Do you have any thoughts on how Educational Technologies are influencing your students preparation for the jobs of tomorrow?

I think educational technologies provide my students with alternative tools for learning and creating. Educational technologies give my students opportunities to explore learning on their own. For the jobs of tomorrow, students will have to show initiative and responsibility for their work, and will have to take it upon themselves to figure out how to manage in their relationships and environments. Knowing where to look and how to find the tools necessary to communicate and create in their jobs will only bring about success.

Are you inspired by Susanne’s classroom?

Share your thoughts with us on social media, and be sure to follow Susanne on Instagram.

Inspired by Susanne and her students? Post your classroom Doodles on Twitter and connect with the 3Doodler EDU community!
@3Doodler #3Doodler #3DoodlerEDU

Posted in EDU

Cock-A-Doodle-Do: Beginning Each Day with a Doodle

Welcome to our 4-part blog series on Demystifying Doodling. Written by educator and author, Julia Deck, this series explores the use of 3D pens in the classroom and reflects on common questions that teachers have about Doodling.

You may not have a rooster egging you on at dawn, but I encourage you to rise and shine because mornings are the best time to Doodle!

Scientific research indicates that our prefrontal cortex is most active during sleep, when we wake up, and shortly thereafter. It’s no wonder that we have the most creative thoughts at this time of day. You’re probably not a “sleep-Doodler”, so this leaves mornings. The early post-REM state is a time of open-mindedness that nurtures those “Aha!” moments which just might lead to great discoveries.

Here are four lessons we can learn from some of history’s most creative “morning” discoveries…

1. Keep a pad for doodling near your nightstand.

Dmitri Mendeleev, the creator of the periodic table, claimed to have seen a table in a dream where all the elements “fell into place as required.

Awakening, I immediately wrote it down on a piece of paper.” Mornings are critical for capturing dreams that often evaporate into the ether of our subconscious if we don’t actively build on them. Doodle your ideas on paper upon waking before they fly back into the recesses of your mind.

2. Creative thinking can clarify thoughts, leading to logical conclusions.

You could say that René Descartes was a morning person. He claimed that the idea for the Scientific Method came to him in a dream. Descartes felt that “Thoughts should be ordered, starting with the simplest and easiest to know, [then] ascending little by little, and, step by step, to more complex knowledge.”

Creative thinking can inform order that leads to further creative ideas and discoveries. Morning doodles can sort confusion into sense and order.

3. Doodling can express thoughts that go beyond mere words.

In that dream-like state between sleep and wakefulness, images can sow ideas never before spoken or written. You may not know the scientist, August Kekulé. Although not a household name, August’s morning discovery is one that changed the scientific world forever. In his dream, August saw dancing atoms moving around in a circle capped by the head of a snake. This led to his discovery of benzene molecules and their composition of circular “dancing” atoms. August didn’t wait for words. He began with an image. Morning doodles may help us express the sublime.

4. Doodles express thinking at the speed of light.

In dreams, our minds are open to receiving ideas and making connections. Edgar Alan Poe said that “Those who dream by night are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by day.” Einstein credits his theory for traveling at the speed of a light to a dream. He was sledding down a hill at a speed so far beyond the human experience that the stars appeared to transform. Meditating about what he had dreamt, Einstein was led to one of his most amazing discoveries. Doodling is a form of meditation that can promote deep reflection resulting in great epiphanies.

Morning Doodlers know that every new day can begin like Christmas morning, unwrapping the gifts of the previous evening’s inspiration, and unleashing the colorful swirls and lines that may result in great discoveries. So set your 3Doodler pen down right next to your alarm clock. For last night’s dreams may lead to some enlightening Doodles!

Julia Dweck is a published children’s author and public school teacher who works with students in grades K-5. Her teaching style focuses on the importance of creative and open-ended thinking. Julia is the 2016 winner of the Da Vinci Science Award for her innovative integration of technology in the classroom.

She serves as a school resource and exemplar for inventive implementation of the arts and sciences. Julia encourages her students, friends, and peers to take risks, whenever possible, in order to grow. Follow her on Twitter: @GiftedTawk

Enliven your Classroom with Read Across America!

Calling all classrooms! It’s time to read across America!

Every year the National Education Association hosts Read Across America, a program that helps classrooms around the country embrace the wonders of reading. The NEA’s Read Across America Calendar outlines suggested books for each month to help you plan your lessons ahead of time. No matter what grade level, they have you covered! And as a bonus, they provide resources and activities to bring the stories to life with your students!

"A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one."-George R. R. Martin Share

So, how does 3Doodler help students read across America?

At 3Doodler, not only do we understand the importance of reading, we also know that learning takes place by reflecting on the stories that have been read. We’ve picked out two of our ELA Lessons for your Read Across America curriculum that will help your students lift the stories off the page!

Now, let’s have students explore what they’ve read in a fun and tactile way!

Elementary School

Puppets and Props (Story Retelling)

In this English Language Arts activity, students partake in a read aloud, shared or guided reading experience with the classroom, then work together to enact a scene from the story using Doodled finger puppets. Story retells are a great way to build language, speaking and listening skills. The students’ puppet shows will reflect an understanding of story structure, sequence, and reading comprehension.

Suggested Books

Pie is for Sharing by Stephanie Parsley Ledyard
Saffron Ice Cream by Rashin Kheiriyeh

Middle and High School

3Doodler Stop-Motion

Students identify the theme of a fictional text, summarize a scene that best reflects the theme, and create a 3Doodler stop-motion animation to enact the selected scene. Creative thinking skills will be integrated into this hands-on project that will help you assess your students’ level of comprehension.

Suggested Books

Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi
Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

Be sure to share your Read Across America projects with the EDU community on Twitter! @3Doodler #3Doodler #ReadAcrossAmerica

Check out our library of K-12 Lesson Plans!

View Lesson Plans

Unearthing the Hidden Curriculum through Doodling

While circling the room to assist and assess in a math activity using 3Doodler pens, I overheard one student say to his partner, “You’ve got a point there. Okay, let’s try it your way.” Although these words on the surface appear insignificant, the fact that these two boys who typically argued about everything were listening to each other gave me pause for reflection.

How many times over the course of the year had I observed beliefs, behaviors and attitudes widened by the art of Doodling? Yet none of these worthy attributes appeared on any of my instructional rubrics. Though these skills are valuable to students in all aspects of life, they are a part of what is known as the “hidden curriculum”.

There’s the core curriculum we teach directly through math, science, language arts and civics instruction. But dig deeper, and you will unearth the hidden curriculum. These are the emotional lessons that arise systemically from how we teach, rather than what we teach. What message are you sending to your students? And, how would you teach if you knew that the hidden curriculum would be subject to the same standardized-high-stakes testing as the core curriculum? Ironically, the hidden curriculum carries equal if not more serious implications to a generation dealing with an increasingly complex world.

Here are 4 ways in which 3Doodler pens enhance the hidden curriculum.

1. Behaviors:

Students who act out when they are lost or confused are displaying a reactive outcome to their frustration. The poor behavior is a symptom stemming from the problem. Doodling helps illustrate thinking in ways which touch us viscerally. We become interconnected with the learning, enmeshed in the process of creation. Endurance is sustained even in moments of rigor, as we are creating something unique that carries our mark.

2. Attitudes:

When students shut down, why persist in instructional repetition? Einstein said that the mark of insanity was repeating the same behaviors over and over again while expecting a different outcome. Using a 3Doodler pen opens up instruction to new ways of thinking and meeting goals. It is the fresh and creative air that can sometimes re-energize learning.

3. Beliefs:

When students believe that they cannot do something, it is a difficult task to convince them otherwise. The 3Doodler pen moves beyond words, illustrating an open array of ways that they may succeed in a task. They begin to believe in their abilities, and those of others, when activities are creative and open-ended to boundless possibilities.

4. Perspective:

Whether the task is to create a one-size-fits-all art project or essay, the unintentional results are conformity. And while, these types of results are much easier to quickly assess, especially on standardized tests, they do not allow students to explore who they are as individuals, nor do they afford them practice in listening and navigating the perspectives of their peers. The art of Doodling is a genuinely open and giving activity that embraces the innovative spirit. It shows us not only who we are personally, but also interpersonally.

It’s time to unearth the hidden curriculum inside our classrooms, and to look beyond the standard rubric to those aesthetic attributes that carve the human spirit. We must welcome it for its complex values and for the ways in which it enriches our students. Education should aim to teach more than facts, it should instill heart, as well.

If you think you’re ready to challenge these misconceptions, check out our library of Lesson Plans here.

View Lesson Plans

Julia Dweck is a published children’s author and public school teacher who works with students in grades K-5. Her teaching style focuses on the importance of creative and open-ended thinking. Julia is the 2016 winner of the Da Vinci Science Award for her innovative integration of technology in the classroom.

She serves as a school resource and exemplar for inventive implementation of the arts and sciences. Julia encourages her students, friends, and peers to take risks, whenever possible, in order to grow. Follow her on Twitter: @GiftedTawk

Five misconceptions about Doodling

Welcome to our 4-part blog series on Demystifying Doodling. Written by educator and author, Julia Deck, this series explores the use of 3D pens in the classroom and reflects on common questions that teachers have about Doodling.

Working with students in grades 3-5 has afforded me the opportunity to explore the gifts and wonders of Doodling across the curriculum. If you’re a teacher and haven’t Doodled yet, what’s stopping you? Could it be one of the following misconceptions?

“My students’ Doodles don’t look like the ones in the lesson plan images.”

This misconception is also referred to as the “all Doodles must be perfect” myth. It would be incorrect to believe that the Doodle is the main objective. The goal of Doodling is the development of rigorous thinkers who are unafraid to create, problem solve, make mistakes and try again within the course of an assigned activity or task. The clever teacher knows that Doodling is a means to an end, and never the end itself.

“Teachers must be excellent Doodlers to teach Doodling.”

How many subjects do teachers teach in a day? Are we expert mathematicians, scientists, biologists, counselors, writers, or literary critics? Probably not, but good teachers know that we don’t have to be the master of every subject we teach, we just need to be great teachers. That means knowing how to guide, encourage, direct, redirect and assess your students in order to enhance their growth in all aspects of learning.

“My students don’t have time to Doodle – I need to prepare my students for high-stakes standardized tests.”

This is the most dangerous misconception. Do not allow standardized tests to inform your instructional methods. The curriculum and standards are meant to outline “what” we teach. It is up to the master teacher to determine “how” to best teach this curriculum in a way that feeds the heart and mind. Short-term rewards come from short-sighted instruction. Long-term rewards result from practices that incorporate open-ended ideas and problem-solving.

“Students must always follow a template or stencil when Doodling.”

There are times when a structured format with stencils or templates will maximize your students’ results. But there are also times when students should be encouraged to explore their imaginations freely, and to color outside the lines and see what happens. It’s during these times that your students will develop new connections and fearlessly learn from their mistakes, as there are no expectations, only pleasant surprises!

“There’s not enough money in the budget to purchase 3Doodlers for all of the students in my classroom.”

A 3Doodler is much more than a solitary drawing tool. It is a wellspring in which communal learners dive, splash and play together. This culminates in a rich, diverse tapestry of ideas and talents. Skills like brainstorming, collaboration, compromising, problem-solving and creative thinking are all enhanced when Doodles are the results of pooled talents and joyful socialization. You don’t need a cart full of 3Doodlers to get started. Rather than a detractor, allowing students to share 3Doodlers in small groups enhances the learning experience.

It’s easy to get hung up on misconceptions. As teachers, it’s critical that we let go of these misconceptions if we want to create the best learning experiences for our students. Education should fill our students’ minds with the extraordinary wonders of the world. Doodling is a great way to do this.

If you think you’re ready to challenge these misconceptions, check out our library of Lesson Plans here.

View Lesson Plans

Julia Dweck is a published children’s author and public school teacher who works with students in grades K-5. Her teaching style focuses on the importance of creative and open-ended thinking. Julia is the 2016 winner of the Da Vinci Science Award for her innovative integration of technology in the classroom.

She serves as a school resource and exemplar for inventive implementation of the arts and sciences. Julia encourages her students, friends, and peers to take risks, whenever possible, in order to grow. Follow her on Twitter: @GiftedTawk

Back to School Inspiration

The New Year has begun, and that means it’s time to start preparing lesson plans for the remainder of the school year.

Whether you’re teaching Science, Technology, Engineering, Math, or English, our 3Doodler Lesson Plans are FREE for you to use! We have highlighted some exciting lessons for you to launch the new year with.

As always, please reach out to us if you have any questions. We’d love to speak with you and offer specialized support for your unique classroom needs.

Kindergarten – 2nd Grade

Students explore subtraction and decipher a color-key in order to Doodle a dog, bones, and bowls using the appropriate colors.

3rd Grade – 5th Grade

Students research what causes the apparent brightness of stars and constellations, write on the topic, then Doodle a glow in the dark model of a constellation.

6th Grade – 8th Grade

Students create a poem based on pieces of published poetry. They use the 3Doodler to block out words and phrases, while adding 3D imagery relevant to the poem.

9th Grade – 12th Grade

Students Doodle a Rutherford model of an atom.

Share your classroom creations on Twitter and connect with our EDU community! @3Doodler or #3DoodlerEDU

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From Root to STEM: Using Art & Design to Teach Plant Biology in 3D

Without Roots was a Sci-Art exhibit showcasing larger-than-life models of plant-root cells. Using the 3Doodler Create+ Pen, participants explored the science of plant biology through a tactile experience.

We spoke with Dolores Bartholomew, artist, scientist, and educator from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, and host of Without Roots, to show you how this inspiring event can be replicated in your classroom.

Without Roots took place at the Esther Klein Gallery in Philadelphia between August 16th and September 29th. The exhibit featured a STEM workshop sponsored by 3Doodler.

Teaching STEM through art

Without Roots explored how STEM education, through art and design, can present science in ways that excite both scientists and non-scientists. We used 3Doodler pens to produce “cytocells” or plant cell cytoskeletons. Each attendee was invited to create a miniature cytocell using the 3Doodler pen. We then connected each cytocell together, forming lateral roots. This created a truly visual example of “root communication” and how that contributes to the growth of plants.

To better understand the cytoskeleton and its role in cells, students replicated the various parts that make up a cell, tissue, or organ to help them visualize and learn.

How can this be incorporated into your classroom?
  • Using images, explain the details of the subject matter (for example cells), and their functions.

  • Familiarize the students with 3Doodler pens. Have them practice by Doodling related vocabulary words on their DoodlePads®. Check out tips for getting started here.

  • Show students finished examples so they can visualize their goal. Next, have students design their own models using reference images. They can use a DoodlePad® to trace over printed images, adding layers to take their models 3-Dimensional.

  • Once finished, ask each student to explain the science behind their model to help them integrate the knowledge further. Either split students into pairs to share their learnings, or have individual presentations.

  • Last but not least, display the students’ projects for others to view! Exhibiting the models for others to see helps students feel excited about their work.

Learn more about how you can enrich the lives of your students with 3Doodler.

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More about Dolores Bartholomew: Dolores Bartholomew, D.Phil, is the Director and Founder of Meanings of the Heart Art, LLC. She is an Adjunct Professor at Philadelphia University and at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. Her gallery exhibitions inspire public learning on the subjects of science, art, and community togetherness. Photographs by Jaime Alvarez

How 3Doodler is Redefining Education

A few years back, I sat in on a teacher’s conference about the SAMR Model. SAMR is an acronym that stands for Substitution, Augmentation, Modification, and Redefinition.

At its lowest level, technology may be used as a substitution to accomplish something that we already do in the classroom. Therefore, a word processor might substitute for paper and pencil to write a story. We can augment the story writing process with text-to-speech. We can modify it by posting students’ writing on a blog. But at its highest level, we redefine the writing lesson when we can conceive of a task that could never have been accomplished before. At this repurposed level, students might conference with professional authors and editors from around the world via Skype.

The 3Doodler Start pen easily rises to the top of the SAMR model when used thoughtfully and effectively. Certainly, we can simply substitute crayons for 3Doodler pens. But, what if we could use the 3Doodler pens to redefine the learning experience in previously inconceivable ways that could make a profound difference in our students’ learning? What if weekly sight words, became weekly touch words with students designing dimensional and textural elements? Would this cognitively trigger a whole new learning experience? When we open our minds and refocus our objectives, we can clearly see how the 3Doodler pen opens unexplored possibilities for learning across subject areas.

A few years back, I wanted to teach my students about ancient artifacts of Western civilization, so, we went on virtual class trips to museums. I even invited a holographer to display holograms of artifacts that “appeared” to have dimension. We saved images of artifacts to sketch, but we could never actually touch or explore them. It was like looking at a delicious piece of cake, but being unable to eat it.

In Language Arts, students can move away from passively learning about idioms and other forms of figurative language, and move toward actively pursuing the roles of literary architects. With the 3Doodler pen, personification becomes concrete in students’ minds and hands. An actual potato can be doodled on to repurpose it as a “couch potato” complete with sunglasses and a couch. An open mouth can be doodled on a bar soap, transforming it into a singing diva in a “soap opera.” A personified compass becomes a graceful ballerina dancing on pencil point. Students who have a hand in their own learning become writers whose words inspire others.

Make a soap opera in your own classroom!

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In Science, the 3Doodler pen lends dimension to discovery as students design organs of the human body or fossils of the future. Real-time learning happens, too, when students realize that they have the power to solve everyday problems. The plants in our hydroponic garden were growing into the UV lights where they were habitually scorched. My students researched photosynthesis and designed various ancillary tools and attachments to reposition the plant growth away from the lights. Before the 3Doodler pens, students may have relied on market solutions. With the 3Doodler pens, students became independent, self-reliant problem solvers.

At times, the 3Doodler pen becomes the lesson itself. As students explore how 3D printers work, they became an active cog in the process of additive manufacturing, building layer upon layer to their understanding of design. Students sometimes run into problems as they charter previously unexplored design territory. A girl in my class was having difficulty adhering the filament to a scissor and wondered why it kept slipping off the metal. This raised a discussion about friction and ways to increase it. This type of real world problem solving is engaging because it is not conceptual. It is tangible. Students are learning by doing! They are designing products that solve problems that are meaningful to them.

Finally, the 3Doodler pen redefines the teacher’s role in the classroom. No longer is the teacher the sole arbiter and purveyor of all knowledge. When students ask me, “Why isn’t this working?” I will freely admit to them when I do not know. And so, I ask them, “How can you figure it out?” "When students are engaged, they are fearless. They are driven. They are persistent. This type of discovery promotes collaborative learning, social engagement and a pursuance of the larger online social network community where experts become guides. " Share

The 3Doodler pens can be the ends or the means by which students learn. It is all up to the teacher. But in the hands of the right individual, the 3Doodler pen is a powerful tool, redesigning education in a whole new way!

Julia Dweck is a public school teacher who works with students in grades K-5, focusing on the importance of creative and open-ended thinking. Julia is the 2016 winner of the Da Vinci Science Award for her innovative integration of technology in the classroom.

She serves as a school resource and exemplar for inventive implementation of the arts and sciences. Julia encourages her students, friends, and peers to take risks, whenever possible, in order to grow. Follow her on Twitter @GiftedTawk

3Doodler’s Commitment To Hurricane Impacted Areas

3Doodler is helping teachers in need following a pair of powerful hurricanes that hit the United States.

By working with DonorsChoose.org, we have decided to fund all active open projects in the Carolinas featuring 3Doodler products as of September 14, 2018 (Hurricane Florence’s landfall). 3Doodler will also fund a pair of active projects in Houston, Texas schools impacted by Hurricane Harvey one year ago.

“Any damage caused by a storm like Hurricane Florence will further press already difficult school budgets,” said 3Doodler co-founder Maxwell Bogue. “Working with a partner like DonorsChoose.org to identify already open projects and support them is a small step we can provide in helping the recovery effort.”

3Doodler Projects have been funded at the following institutions:

Knightsville Elementary School – Summerville, SC
Valle Crucis Elementary School – Sugar Grove, NC
Chesterfield Elementary School – Morgantown, NC
West View Elementary School – Spartanburg, SC
Southern Nash Middle School – Winnsboro, SC
St. Paul’s Middle School – Saint Pauls, NC
Lugoff Elementary School – Lugoff, SC
O’Donnell Middle School – Houston, TX
North Pointe Elementary School – Houston, TX

In the five years since 3Doodler’s founding, the company’s products have been used in more than 7,000 classrooms, and by more than 400,000 students. DonorsChoose.org, a crowdfunded educational platform, has also been responsible for putting 3Doodler kits in over 800 middle-and low-income classrooms.

3Doodler’s 3D printing pens have received extensive praise for making 3D printing accessible for all ages and economic backgrounds. This includes being named a Top Pick by New York Times owned Wirecutter and one of Mashable’s 10 Best 3D Printers for Beginners.

Our Most Popular STEM Lesson Plans

If you’re finding it challenging to pick the best activities for your class, here are a few of our most downloaded lesson plans for inspiration. These lesson plans are designed for elementary through middle school, and combine the use of educational technology and STEM to engage students in fun, hands-on learning activities.

Don’t forget to check our Lesson Plan Collection regularly to find new teaching resources for your classroom, all of which are available for free!

Geometric Shapes & Tessellations

Recommended grades: 3 – 5
Learn about: Geometric shapes and problem solving through design
Overview: Students will design a simple tessellation for a 3D shape such as a cube, a cylinder, or a cone using 2D templates. Students will enjoy seeing their 3D shape come together, and will even be able to use it as a functional item, such as a pen holder!

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Fibonacci Spiders

Recommended grades: 3-5
Learn about: Fibonacci numbers and patterns in nature
Overview: Students will learn what a fibonacci sequence is, then discuss how it’s present in the patterns in nature. Students will observe how the sequence affects the structure of a spider’s web, and then Doodle their own spider’s web in order to visualise their learnings in a 3D object.

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Geometric Collage Maker

Recommended grades: K-2
Learn about: Geometric shapes, how to calculate area and perimeter
Overview: In this lesson, students will have fun creating outlines for a collage of geometric shapes with the 3Doodler. They will then use crayon rubbings over their outlines in order to create a colorful piece of art.

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Construct a 3Doodler City

Recommended grades: 6 – 8
Learn about: City planning, geometry, area and perimeter calculations
Overview: Students will identify the structures that make up a city (e.g. roads, buildings, bridges), and then analyze the way in which these structures are composed of lines and geometric shapes. Students will design 2D shapes and then Doodle over them to construct their own 3D structures. Each group will design one part of a city, then collaborate to form a whole city. This real-world, hands-on project combines math, problem solving, collaboration and technology.

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See the full collection of Lesson Plans

Click here

New K-8 Back To School Lesson Plans for Teachers

Busy planning ahead for the school year? We’ve prepared something to help you out!

We’ve added tons of new Lesson Plans for elementary school level all the way up to grade 8, specially designed for use with the 3Doodler Start. These teaching resources are perfect for STEM classes, and some are so fun you could even use them as a first day of school activity! You can print them out to use in your class or for a project at home. All lesson plans are accompanied by presentation slides, reference images, and worksheets that you can use during your lesson.

Here are a few STEM lesson plans that we’ve handpicked for you. To see the full collection, click here.

Doodle-Trees and the Four Seasons

Recommended grades: K-2
Learn about: Seasons and changes in nature
Overview: Students will Doodle on four tree branches to create models of the four seasons. This is a fun STEM-focused educational activity that includes a short walk outside for students to collect branches. It also introduces students to the cycles of nature and gives them a strong visual representation of the changes in the trees and foliage throughout the seasons.

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Earth’s Structure & Beyond!

Recommended grades: 3-5
Learn about: Different internal structures of planets
Overview: Students will research our solar system and Doodle cross-sectional 3D models of the planets. They will learn about the makeup of the different layers and compare and contrast the likenesses and differences between the planets. Students will then assemble the planets into a solar system display of their own.

View Lesson


Recommended grades: 6-8
Learn about: Research methods and design experimentation for a functional Wobblehead
Overview: This activity involves researching a historic figure and incorporating five of their characteristics into the design of a 3D wobblehead! Students will learn about exaggerating an individual’s most notable physical characteristics (similar to a caricature), and will be challenged to design a working Wobblehead by experimenting with Doodled springs, dowels, and more.

View Lesson

See the full collection of K-8 Lesson Plans

Click here

Learning how to learn with 3Doodler Learning Packs

Recently we had the opportunity to interview Oletha Walker of JFK Elementary School, and Blair Cochran of Melrose High School, both of whom use the 3Doodler Learning Packs in their classrooms.

Upon first glance, Oletha and Blair’s classrooms are quite different. Oletha Walker is a charismatic Challenge Resource and Project learning teacher of a young and dynamic group of students from grades 3-5. Her class is all about getting messy and having fun while learning. Blair Cochran is an outstanding high school Science teacher, with an ambitious group of students who are passionate about the subject. He leads his students to delve deeper into a topic, to ensure they truly understand it. Despite their differences, they have one thing is common: both classrooms enjoy hands-on learning experiences.

Visualizing concepts in 3D with Oletha’s class

Oletha is a strong believer in the benefits of hands-on learning to help engage both the left and right side of the brain. She believes it encourages trial and error, embracing and learning from mistakes, and trying again.

With the 3Doodler Start Learning Pack, Oletha’s students are able to put their thoughts into something that’s visual and tangible.

This is not new to them, as Oletha’s classroom is equipped with a traditional 3D printer – which sounds very cool. In practice however, Oletha found herself having to sit next to the printer to keep the students away from it due to its heat warnings. Her students could only standby and wait for a single print to be shared with the whole class.

“The 3Doodler frees up time” – Oletha

"This little tool is a game changer. I have seen students that usually have low motivation come to life when they have this tool in their hands. It does not matter what their learning abilities are, anyone can successfully use this tool."-Oletha Share

Ever since introducing the 3Doodler to her class, every student has access to their own tool and is able to quickly and easily create their own item. There is no concern over anyone being injured, because the pens’ tips don’t reach high temperatures. Now Oletha has the freedom to circle around the class, guiding, monitoring, and giving feedback. More of her lesson plans can be accomplished because the students are able to work quickly and analyze and revise their designs before class time is over, as there is no downtime waiting for the printer to complete the layering. “As we all know, there is never enough time in one class to accomplish all that you would want,” Oletha commented.

Design, Build, Modify

In one of her classes, Oletha’s students were tasked with designing their own aquaponics system that could be used in someone’s apartment. Traditionally, a lesson like this would be limited to drawings, but with the 3Doodler, this lesson went to a whole new dimension. Her students were able to demonstrate their ideas more accurately with their 3D designs, make needed modifications, and build discourse around what they were designing.

What’s next?

For the next school year, Oletha is excited to have the entire school reimagine their town. Each person will imagine a futuristic version of their town and then create a model using the 3Doodler. This will be displayed so visitors to the school can see how the students envision their town to become.

Exploring and testing new learnings in Blair’s class

A typical lesson in Blair’s class goes like this: the class discusses the new topic for 10 minutes, then actively explores that topic further (which can take on a bunch of different formats), followed by some reading up and videos to strengthen their understanding of it. Blair likes to break down the topics into bite-sized chunks so the students can focus on a single understanding and how it is linked to other ideas.

What Blair’s students love the most about using the 3Doodler is the ability to physically create what they have pictured in their mind. When it comes to exploring a new topic, the students are able to ‘sketch’ their understanding of it and test it out. Moreover, Blair appreciates how easy the students have found this tool is to use.

"There was very little start up time. All my students were using the pens successfully within a couple of minutes."-Blair Share

Connecting the dots

During a lesson on circuits, students used the 3Doodler to create 3D models of voltage in a circuit. Blair has found that students typically struggle conceptually with this unit. What Blair has done for years is draw the circuit and have the students draw the 3D images of the voltage. With the 3Doodler, the students were able to physically create these plots instead. “I believe that the ability to create these models gave the students a new way to access the concept, and thus provided more students a pathway to learning,” Blair commented.

What’s next?

For the next school year, Blair is looking forward to incorporating the 3Doodler Learning Packs into the school’s MakerSpace and more of his classroom units.

Interested in our EDU Learning Packs?

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We want to say a huge thank you to both Oletha and Blair, for graciously welcoming our team into their classes. We had such a great time and were overjoyed to see the students using the 3Doodler and having fun with it.

Introducing the new 3Doodler EDU Learning Packs

Anyone who is familiar with the 3Doodler brand will recognize that our Purpose is to inspire and enable everyone to create. As a tactile tool, there’s a natural fit of our product in learning Art & Design, STEM, and other academic disciplines, corroborated by the growing demand from classrooms over the last few years. To continue to meet students’ learning needs, it’s important for us to constantly improve our EDU products and ensure the best possible classroom experience for our users.

A first glance of our Learning Packs

Designed with teachers, for their classrooms

We have spent countless hours working on the redesigned Learning Packs, with the outcome of an easier, better experience for teachers and their student users. Finally, with the launch of these products today, we’d like to share the thinking behind the new design!

All our 3D pens are made to be as simple and easy to learn as possible, avoiding obstacles between a user and their ability to create. This quality had to be carried through every aspect of the new EDU Learning Pack product experience, from the moment the teacher and students open their boxes, to when they make their first doodle. And what better way to truly understand the needs of teachers and students in the classroom, than to ask teachers?

3 Design Thinking Pillars

After numerous consultations with teachers who use the 3Doodler, it became clear to us that there were 3 consistent themes in what they were looking for:

Simple to understand

“If they don’t use it, lose it.” The first step to making our Learning Packs more valuable, was by removing components that don’t add value for teachers. We took out what they thought was least useful in the EDU Bundle, making room for more items, such as education-specific learning materials and robust containers.

With the contents that remained, we redesigned the creatives, the wording, and the overall layout, to make the information more clear, concise, and easily digestible. We also learned that teachers and students find it easier to process images rather than words alone, so we added more visual examples, and less text, in our guides.

Efficient use of time

Teachers are busy people. Finding the time to plan a new lesson is a challenge, let alone to introduce a whole new way of enabling student learning. To overcome this, we had to find a solution that helped teachers save time – before, during, and after the class. An important component in saving time for teachers was to make the Learning Packs extremely accessible to students, so that they could take charge of their own learning journey with 3Doodler.

"Students can help themselves to their own pens and accessories, and grab plastics from the huge assortment available in the Plastics Kit." Share

The new Learning Pack contains a Teachers’ Kit, Students’ Kits, and a Plastic Kit. Before class, the teacher can familiarize him/herself with the Teachers’ Kit, which comes with a checklist of items to go through, a cheatsheet, and lesson plans and activity guides. During the lesson, the class can refer to a specially designed poster (included in the Learning Pack) on doodling basics. A troubleshooting guide and set of tools is also available for quick fixes. By creating multiple easy-to-grab Student Kits, students can help themselves to their own pens and accessories, and grab plastics from the huge assortment available in the Plastics Kit.

Separating out the kits this way makes the material management easier for the teacher. They no longer need to spend time on distributing the tools and figuring out all the components, eliminating confusion and chances of errors. Student teams will also appreciate a sense of ownership over their own kits! After the lesson, students simply have to return all materials into their compartments, ready for the next class.

Friendly and intuitive to all

The Activity Guide and free lesson plans, tutorials, and stencils on our website have all been designed with teachers, and with the aim to inspire everyone to create, no matter their age or artistic ability. Building a dinosaur fossil may appear overly ambitious, but not if you have a stencil you could print and use. A roller coaster model seems impossible to make? Not if you can follow a step-by-step guide.

There are ideas for everyone, and limitless things to create, play with, and learn from. All it takes is to start.

Check out our new Learning Packs here

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The Benefits of Peer-Teaching 3Doodling

There’s an oversized, gold and garishly ornate throne inside my classroom. While those who sit upon its red, velvet pillow feel quite special, they know that this seat comes with awesome responsibility.

All eyes turn towards the seated as he or she communicates ideas, feedback, and skills. And, it has become increasingly clear to me that the throne is a symbol of the need we all have to teach one another. It’s an important analogy regarding how we should avoid setting up our classroom as a monarchy; and should rather aim for teaching as a democracy in which everyone has something important to teach others.

With this in mind, I trained a core group of third through fifth grade students as Doodler-Teachers (DTs) whose mission has been to spread their passion for doodling, while instructing younger peers in the art of doodling. Here are some of the manifold benefits we’ve reaped through peer-teaching doodling.

1. Individualized Doodling Instruction:

Whether teaching new doodlers at a maker faire or inside a first-grade classroom, one small group of intrepid DTs can conquer the masses, in ways that a sole monarch, (aka teacher), cannot. Teaching a new hands-on skill to primary students can sometimes feel like a game of whack-a-mole, with one teacher frantically running from student to student, as another 5 call for help. Each DT can focus on a smaller group, allowing the teacher to enhance his or her role as a facilitator and guide, while assessing and meeting the needs of the group.

2. Active Doodling:

Ben Franklin was a pretty wise man, who I’m sure, if he had had the opportunity, would have loved doodling. It’s almost as if he had doodling in mind when he said, “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” Modeling how to doodle is just the beginning. The next step is guiding and catching your young doodlers when they fall. The only way to do this is to place a 3Doodler in their hands and actively guide them as they doodle. Real-time feedback is much more powerful than after the fact.

3. Two-Way Doodling:

It’s a double win. While new doodlers are learning, the DTs are also reaping rewards. Great epiphanies are reached when students become the teachers. They empathize toward the instruction and betterment of others. Connections are made, as students realize how much doodling relates to all sorts of learning. Confidence is enhanced beyond the doodling session. “I didn’t think I could do it,” said one third-grader who initially doubted her doodler-teaching abilities,. “Teaching is hard,” she admitted, “but it’s fun, too!”

4. Doodle-Talk:

And, while teachers are the virtual chameleons of the classroom, engaging with all types of learners, I have found my third-grade DTs, who were themselves, first graders, only a year or two earlier, are the best at connecting with their younger pals in ways that even the coolest teacher cannot. And, while your students respect and admire you (I’m sure), there’s something much cooler about hanging out with a fourth grader, when you’re a first grader! It was during one doodling session that I observed a first- grader look up into the eyes of third- grade DT and say, “You’re so good at doodling! Much better than me!” The response was honest and made me smile. “You can do it, too. I’m not good at math, but that’s because I don’t practice it as much. I’m a good doodler, because I practice it a LOT!” The first grader’s expression said it all. She happily returned to doodling with a huge smile, too.

Peer teaching empowers those students who sit in the throne, as well as the peers they teach. Helping one another solves a multitude of problems. It opens up possibilities for students to learn responsibility and practice being leaders, while enabling their teachers to enhance the learning experience for everyone in the kingdom!

Julia Dweck is a public school teacher who works with students in grades K-5, focusing on the importance of creative and open-ended thinking. Julia is the 2016 winner of the Da Vinci Science Award for her innovative integration of technology in the classroom.

She serves as a school resource and exemplar for inventive implementation of the arts and sciences. Julia encourages her students, friends, and peers to take risks, whenever possible, in order to grow. Follow her on Twitter @GiftedTawk

Tactile Tech for Inclusive Teaching

“By incorporating tactile learning into a regular lesson plan, came this totally inclusive way to teach the same subject… and made it not only accessible for the visually impaired student but also more fun for the teacher and the rest of the class.” – Neal McKenzie

STEM for the Visually Impaired

Is it too difficult to understand how a train railway system works if you cannot visually observe it? STEM is an academic area that many falsely believe is out of reach for the visually impaired.

Educators are aware it is unfair to restrict the opportunity for someone who might enjoy and contribute in STEM, but traditional teaching methods allow for this to prevail. Let’s take a deeper look at why this is with Leah Wyman, the Head of Education at 3Doodler, and Neal McKenzie, Assistive Technology Specialist at the Sonoma County Office of Education. Leah and Neal hosted a talk
at the SXSW EDU Conference which explored the benefits of tactile learning, barriers faced by teachers, and how to overcome them.

Listen to Leah and Neal’s talk

One Size (Rarely) Fits All

Earlier this year, Neal who, at the time, had a blind student in 7th grade, had the opportunity to work with a science teacher in regular ed on an upcoming fossil project worksheet. The teacher struggled to find a way to keep the student occupied while the rest of the class did the worksheet. It suddenly occurred to Neal, why not plan something which would make the lesson accessible for the blind student, and also more fun for the rest of the class? He and the science teacher then came up with the idea of filling some boxes with sand and some “fossils”, to teach students the ways archaeologists discover fossils. Out of this collaboration came this new, totally inclusive (and fun) tactile way to teach the same subject. This example illustrates how big an idea it is to incorporate tactile learning into STEM – not only for students with disabilities, but for inclusion for the whole classroom.

We Are More the Same Than Different

Another time, Neal was tasked with modifying a lesson with a logic problem involving trains to a class with both sighted students and a blind student. Instead of simply translating the worksheet into braille, Neal decided to get the students to a make a physical model using resources he found online. He also printed a set of instructions in braille. Neal was so excited when he found the whole class working on this project together as a group, making little trees, a train, tunnel and a railway, and really enjoying it. Some students even added tiny magnets so that the train would physically pull the cars!

“I love this example because it illustrates how making something real and tangible encourages collaboration among the students, and it also makes students engage and retain the information better. A student who otherwise would be taught in a more traditional way may have been left out or just asked to listen, was instead fully engaged just like all the other students. Whenever we say, there’s this worksheet, and a student can’t see it, we should instead be asking what the student can do, and how they can understand something well, then developing our lessons that way.”

The Challenges Of Change…

We all know that ideas like those Neal introduced to his classes are great, but we also know that not many teachers teach with tactile technology. The question is why.

There are several barriers that are keeping all classrooms from using tactile technology. One common challenge faced by teachers is an overwhelming schedule, meaning they simply don’t have the time to develop materials for teaching in a new way. Teachers are also spending less time sharing teaching experiences and working on lesson plans together, making opportunities to learn from each other much less frequent. Needless to say, one-on-one time with students is limited, leaving almost no capacity for making personalized learning plans and understanding what kind of learning would work best for each student.

And How to Overcome Them

First and foremost, we need to recognise that although it may take more time upfront to plan, an effective lesson that leads to more retention means less time required to cover one subject, and also less time needed for reteaching later. In fact, there are tons of tactile learning resources available online which teachers could use to improve on or replace their existing lesson plans, saving time and improving results in the long run.

"The teacher’s role becomes that of a guide for the students in determining their path to reach their learning objectives." Share

Identifying the right tool for your students is also an integral step. Many teachers shy away from introducing a new tech into the class based on the assumption that it would be difficult to set up, and the learning curve is steep. While this is a growing area in education, there are tactile tech tools in the market today which are intuitive, require little to no complicated setup or tech knowledge, and are adaptable for a variety of teaching purposes.

Given the right tools to succeed, students can be given more control of the learning journey, and even make their own projects. The teacher’s role becomes that of a guide for the students in determining their path to reach their learning objectives. And learning how to learn is the best way to prepare students today for the careers of the future!

STEM for All, and All for STEM

The most effective way to engage a student in STEM is to let them become scientists, become engineers, become mathematicians. Encourage them to problem-solve using technology, versus teaching them about those things. Allowing students to open up and experience these things will allow them to decide if this is right for them or not.

"These kids don’t have to love STEM, but I want them to have that choice – to have a chance to love STEM and not have limiting factors decide if they love it or not."-Neal Share

You can listen to Leah and Neal’s talk at the SXSW EDU Conference here.

Listen to a podcast on ‘Creating Breathtaking Projects with 3Doodler’ on Scalar Learning here.

For more information about 3Doodler EDU products, please visit http://edu.the3doodler.com/

3Doodler: A Simple Tool with Powerful Results

Ed Camps are cropping up all over the country. It’s an opportunity for teachers to informally share ideas and technologies that improve instruction and learning for all students. Einstein once said that, “Creativity is intelligence having fun,” and so it is with the 3Doodler START.

I had to push my way through a crowd of teachers at one Ed Camp to find a 3Doodler at its core. It’s an imaginative tool with a funny name. The bright blue barrel and colorful plastic strands immediately attract stares and questions. The teacher holding the 3Doodler was demonstrating how to make a stencil of a house. After spending months training with the latest educational technology, I was a bit trepidatious. “What’s the learning curve like?” I challenged her. The teacher smiled back and asked, “Do you know how to hold a pencil?” She passed the 3Doodler over to me and I have not put it down ever since. Being a tactile learner, the 3Doodler appealed to me from my very first doodle.

The intimidation factor of trying any new technology can become an obstacle. Such was not the case with the 3Doodler START. There are many different ways to jump in and swim. I’ve always been the “let’s-just-do-it-and-see-what-happens,” type of learner.

"Fortunately, the 3Doodler is extremely forgiving of learners like me. All I needed to know was how to turn it on, turn it off and charge it. This is all as simple as a click. The rest I learned through experience, mistakes and practice. " Share

But, if you are more of the “I-need-to-read-the-instructions-first” type of learner, 3Doodler has got you covered, too. There are so many user-friendly links with bright, colorful graphics on the 3Doodler site. The “Getting Started” page will hold your hand, taking you step-by-step through the process. Still got questions? No problem.

The 3Doodler is a great way to facilitate classroom instruction. When designing new lessons, I always begin with a specific objective, asking myself, “What is it that I want my students to learn?” When used effectively, identifying your instructional goal(s) first will facilitate how the technology should follow. Ever hear the expression, “the tail wagging the dog”? The best technologies are adaptive to the largest pool of objectives.

Whether you are teaching vocabulary, sight words or spelling, the 3Doodler has got you covered. The experience of writing and touching words reinforces learning. Greater depth is added to STEM projects when students can culminate the activity with a 3Doodler model that reflects the depth of their imagination. In mathematics, concepts like fractions, lines, geometry, angles, patterns, symmetry and more peel right off the page, allowing your students to critically analyze and synthesize new learning. Language Arts is enlivened with 3Doodler bendable stop-motion characters to summarize text and 3Doodler models of figurative language. A 3Doodler is a powerful tool for collaboration and personal expression.

The 3Doodler draws out the limitless imagination of teachers and students alike. But more than that, the 3Doodler is a tool that promotes the development of each student’s unique identity. It promotes open-ended responses which reflect the remarkable diversity of learners in our classroom. Doodles are like fingerprints, they leave their mark on learning and they allow students to express their individuality in all its glorious shapes, swirls, spirals and colors.

So, what are you waiting for? Do you know how to hold a pencil?

Julia Dweck is a public school teacher who works with students in grades K-5, focusing on the importance of creative and open-ended thinking. Julia is the 2016 winner of the Da Vinci Science Award for her innovative integration of technology in the classroom.

She serves as a school resource and exemplar for inventive implementation of the arts and sciences. Julia encourages her students, friends, and peers to take risks, whenever possible, in order to grow. Follow her on Twitter @GiftedTawk

Think Like A Doodler

The other day, my fifth-grade students were brainstorming problem-solving technologies for future homes. Hands immediately flew up in the air. “Robots that wash dishes!” “Robots that walk your dog.” “Robots that do your homework.” I finally had to stem the tide of robotic responses with a reminder that these things already exist.

I challenged students to think beyond what they’ve read and seen to come up with their own ideas. “Think like a Doodler!” I told them! My students immediately understood the meaning of this directive, because doodling has been at the heart of so many of our classroom activities. Through their doodling experiences, my students have learned the following:

Doodling is Inquiry-Based

We always begin doodling by posing a question or problem. This is followed by a design process that paves the way to new learning. Within this format, the teacher serves as the guide, while students take the lead, doodling their ideas, testing them, improving them and retesting them in a fun, motivating fashion. Problems spawn solutions.

Doodling to Connect The Dots

Doodling is a physical experience that taps into prior learning while building neural pathways. I call this “connective learning,” because doodling bridges the old with the new, conflating the two into sparkling innovations. Doodlers know that great ideas come from thinking across experiences. Leonardo Da Vinci would have made a great doodler in the way he stemmed the tides of disciplines, like anatomy, geology, and mathematics in his inventions.

One Doodle in a Million

Doodles come in all different shapes and sizes. There has never been (and never will be) a one-size-fits-all approach to doodling in our room. Students are amazed at the range of solutions generated by their peers when given a doodle-design challenge. Doodling is an open-ended way of thinking that encourages a vast array of opinions and perspectives nurturing a growing bank of possibilities.


Doodling enhances thought through feelings. Doodlers are receptive to the needs of others, connecting in ways that go beyond words. When you doodle, you open your heart to different perspectives, cultures, and ways of being. Characteristics like kindness and compassion not only generate ideas, they enhance our world.

For students to think like Doodlers, teachers must allow them the freedom to expand their frame of mind, nurturing a new language of invention that embraces doodles of all shapes, sizes, and color. Doodlers know that great ideas result from a diversity of lines and textures, awakening our creative spirit.

So, when was the last time you encouraged your students to think like a Doodler?

Julia Dweck is a public school teacher who works with students in grades K-5, focusing on the importance of creative and open-ended thinking. Julia is the 2016 winner of the Da Vinci Science Award for her innovative integration of technology in the classroom.

She serves as a school resource and exemplar for inventive implementation of the arts and sciences. Julia encourages her students, friends, and peers to take risks, whenever possible, in order to grow. Follow her on Twitter @GiftedTawk

3Doodler Stems The Gender Divide

While some of the girls in my elementary classroom will become engineers, designers, coders and software programmers, I don’t expect them all to become the next Millie Dresselhaus. No matter where their lives’ journeys lead them, the lessons they are learning in our classroom will serve them as critical thinkers, innovators, risk-takers, collaborators and leaders.

A recent Microsoft study indicated that a girl’s level of interest in STEM (science, technical, engineering, and math subjects) is on a steady rise until age 11, and then declines, most markedly, by age 15. I refer to these as the “Wonder” years, because I wonder why more people haven’t noticed and/or done something about it!

One of the best tools in my teaching arsenal is the 3Doodler Start. I’d like to “draw” upon my own success with the 3Doodler and share why it’s an important technology tool for all of your students, but especially your young girls. The 3Doodler is a way to inspire and engage our girls in STEM at an early age, while cultivating a platform that will sustain their interest throughout higher education and life. Learning with a 3Doodler nurtures creative thinking, as students design original works or repurpose information and ideas into new creations. It is an artistic form of expression that appeals to girls, while developing their voice not only within the design community, but in our world at large. Being a flexible, fluent thinker is a valuable commodity in any field or endeavor they may pursue.

Through using the 3Doodler in the classroom, students practice “design thinking”, a process of iteration, beginning with asking questions, brainstorming, planning, testing and retesting. This logical thought process is effective and visually concrete with the 3Doodler. A larger design problem is broken down into smaller, more manageable, sub-problems.

In our classroom, you will see girls designing plans, sketching models, drawing flowcharts, building, and playing with ideas not only in their minds, but with their hands, as well. They make predictions. They make inferences. They make repairs. They cultivate strong visual-spatial abilities, because their thought processes are being enacted right before their eyes. And all of this happens as they are “playing.” As girls enter adolescence with its rapid changes and choices, the dramatic effects of a strong thought process are witnessed by an improved ability to make important decisions, ones that may alter life outcomes.

With the 3Doodler, girls get practice in solving problems, making mathematics calculations and taking risks within open-ended challenges that allow for more than one solution.

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They cultivate a tolerance for ambiguity and build perseverance. They develop what my grandfather used to refer to as “true grit”, a kind of spunk and resilient nature best cultivated through experience with failure. Psychologist, Carol Dweck, coined the term “growth-mindset” as the ability to reframe failure as an opportunity for learning. With the constant barrage of perfection displayed by the media, our girls are in danger of becoming complacent rather than risk making mistakes. The 3Doodler draws new pathways that embolden girls to dare, to try again, to go out on a ledge, knowing that the only true risk they face are the lessons lost by quitting.

Artful creation, such as with the 3Doodler, does not demand perfection, it celebrates inspiration born through determination. It makes us smile, even as we’re trying again and again.

And somewhere along the line, they begin to realize that they can solve most of life’s problems if they can see the “shapes” and “patterns” within it, which take the form of problems, ideas and choices. The 3Doodler nurtures the ability to problem-solve through analyzing, synthesizing and transferring knowledge to abstract learning. The 3Doodler is a valuable tool for all students, but for our girls, it is the shape of things to come.

Go ahead, check out our new Lesson Plans on our site now!

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Julia Dweck is a public school teacher who works with students in grades K-5, focusing on the importance of creative and open-ended thinking. Julia is the 2016 winner of the Da Vinci Science Award for her innovative integration of technology in the classroom.

She serves as a school resource and exemplar for inventive implementation of the arts and sciences. Julia encourages her students, friends, and peers to take risks, whenever possible, in order to grow. Follow her on Twitter @GiftedTawk

The Top 10 Reasons 3Doodler Inspires Zen in the Classroom

I always got a chuckle from David Letterman’s Top 10! lists. Sure, they were funny, but there was always a kernel of truth. The 3Doodler is similar. It’s a funny little tool, but it offers so much value. I’ve already written about its academic benefits, but did you know that it’s also a great tool for inspiring Zen inside your classroom? Here’s a list I crafted to share the top 10 reasons why.

10. It’s affordable.

Therefore, teachers do not need to feel stressed about tapping into their own budgets to score a top-notch technology tool that packs a lot of power for the punch.

9. It’s as simple as drawing with a crayon to get started.

No need to read a long list of instructions or attend long hours of professional development. You can dive right in and so can your students. That should take a load off your mind.

8. It will keep your students engaged.

Your students will be so quiet when they doodle, that you’ll be known as the teacher with the most well-behaved students in the school! The 3Doodler can actually alter your students’ physical and emotional experience, allowing them time for introspection, possibly leading to improved decision making. A teacher can dream, can’t she?

7. It is truly child-friendly.

Time working with the 3Doodler is time spent away from digital devices that may bombard and overstimulate your students. Plus, unlike using a laptop or tablet, you don’t need to be on hyper-alert, patrolling computer screens in case students have wandered off-site.

6. It keeps everyone happy.

The 3Doodler is an effective tool in improving students’ moods, as they happily create and discover while learning. And, happy students mean a happier teacher! Right?

5. It may help reduce stress levels.

Researchers have discovered that doodling inspires wellness, which quiets the brain and may lead to decreased levels of adrenaline incited by recess and missing homework assignments. Ugh!

4. It creates “Aha!” moments.

The 3Doodler is inspirational. As students use it, they make connections that lead to insights. This kind of inspiration is contagious and will spread throughout your room. What a marvelous thing!

3. It embraces all types of learners.

It’s one size fits all. Doodling is a universal. We all doodle. With this type of lowered level of expectation, students have happy accidents that are needed for new learning.

2. It silences the inner-critic in all of us.

In fact, the word “doodle” sounds so silly and humorous, that students will feel relaxed enough to try new things, take risks and make mistakes. This will make your classroom a more productive place to be.

1. It’s just fun and relaxing.

And the top reason why the 3Doodlers will inspire Zen in your classroom is that a relaxed mind is better equipped to solve problems. So, instead of plying your students with sugary mints before their next exam, bring out the 3Doodlers.

Remember these tips the next time you or your students are feeling stressed, overwhelmed or need inspiration and pass out the 3Doodlers. It’s on the shelf right next to that bottle of aspirins and a lot healthier for everyone!

Julia Dweck is a public school teacher who works with students in grades K-5, focusing on the importance of creative and open-ended thinking. Julia is the 2016 winner of the Da Vinci Science Award for her innovative integration of technology in the classroom.

She serves as a school resource and exemplar for inventive implementation of the arts and sciences. Julia encourages her students, friends, and peers to take risks, whenever possible, in order to grow. Follow her on Twitter @GiftedTawk

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The Benefits of Drawing on Imagination with 3Doodler

Our students come to us ripe with imagination. Every teacher has been an audience to the fantastic tales spun by a kindergartener. I recall one tiny, freckled girl who came to class each day wearing a Wonder Woman cape and snow boots, even in May.

She earnestly nodded her head, as she promised me that fairies really did make her lunch. I asked her mom if she had shared this creative fib in order to get her daughter to eat. She smiled and shook her head no, explaining that this was all her daughter’s idea, along with her “eclectic” fashion sense.

Research indicates that from an early age, strong-willed creative thinkers have the potential to become the leaders and innovators of tomorrow. So, how do we resist standardized teaching methods, and, instead, cultivate and enhance our naturally creative thinkers? Last year, I added the 3Doodler to my list of back-to-school supplies and the results were astounding.

Any teacher who has worked with primary students can share their limited attention span. To go over 30 minutes lecturing, you risk them turning on you. There is nothing sadder than witnessing a novice teacher who has lost her audience, desperately flailing about to recapture their attention. The 3Doodler not only engages elementary students, who are naturally doodlers; it captivates and sustains their attention. Have you ever watched a student get lost in thought? It’s a wonderful thing.

Try out one of Julia’s new 3Doodler lesson plans with your own students.

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This is where learning naturally happens. While directed learning is necessary, it can sap the joy out of doodling. The most fantastic ideas can result from free exploration. Like the child who proudly displayed her “tooth-pulling machine,” she’d designed with her 3Doodler, as she wiggled her loose front tooth with the tip of her tongue. She told me that this idea had been “hidden in her head for a long time.” This invested focus, allows students to creatively solve problems that are meaningful to them.

In directed learning, students are much more likely to enjoy adding and subtracting when they can create their own counting sticks or doodle illustrations for touchable word problems. The creative thinking that stems from self-directed discovery, solidifies learning. Students’ doodles make their thought processes visible to their teacher, even when their literacy skills are limited.

When 3Doodling, students’ hands-on free-associations may trigger acquisition and enhance retention of knowledge. According to Bloom’s Taxonomy, transferring learned concepts to abstract or novel applications is considered the highest level of learning. The 3Doodler naturally inspires this type of imaginative transference with very little effort on the part of the teacher. Great ideas stem from the seeds of imagination. What appears to be a frivolous doodle of a tic-tac-toe game, may lead students to develop creative and complex mathematical strategies.

The creative mind promulgates a sense of pride and self-esteem, as students become true makers and innovators. The 3Doodler allows students to share their ideas in concrete and visuals ways. What a powerful thing imagination can be when allowed to come to fruition in the hands of a child. Students are no longer told that their ideas are impossible.

"What a powerful thing imagination can be when allowed to come to fruition in the hands of a child. Students are no longer told that their ideas are impossible. Instead, they are encouraged to try them, modify them, and test them." Share

Instead, they are encouraged to try them, modify them, and test them. Einstein was a great visualizer. In his mind’s eye, he could “play” with ideas. This led him to some of his most amazing discoveries and theories. Not all of us are as fortunate to be as innately inclined to mentally play with ideas as Einstein. The 3Doodler inspires this type of visually creative thought. And, it is this coupling of ideas with hands-on modeling, which inspires confidence–a sense of what I like to call, “Look-what-I-made-pride.”

According to experts like Daniel Pink and Sir Kenneth Robinson, creative thinking is the most important skill for success in the 21st century. The world is a complex place, with needs that cannot be met through replication of standardized thought patterns. Now, more than ever, we need thinkers who can “draw” upon their imaginations to design new paths.

It is incumbent upon each of us as teachers to make the time and share the tools that will allow this type of fluent and flexible thinking to flourish. So, how do you know if your students are ready for the 3Doodler? Can they hold a crayon? That’s a good start. It all begins with a doodled line and where it ends, who can imagine?

Julia Dweck is a public school teacher who works with students in grades K-5, focusing on the importance of creative and open-ended thinking. Julia is the 2016 winner of the Da Vinci Science Award for her innovative integration of technology in the classroom.

She serves as a school resource and exemplar for inventive implementation of the arts and sciences. Julia encourages her students, friends, and peers to take risks, whenever possible, in order to grow. Follow her on Twitter @GiftedTawk

Making Physics Physical

What is the best way to learn the physics behind bridges? By building one.

To build a functional bridge, it’s important to have a strong backing in the basics of physics, Newton’s Laws, the properties of matter, and other rules and facts that describe our world—but it can be hard to see how they all work together at the same time. The best way to learn about bridges is to build them. And that’s just what they do in Glenn Couture’s class.

Getting the Drop on Science

Couture teaches Honors and AP physics at a high school in Norwalk, Connecticut. During the school year he guides students through a wide range of topics that make up physics. These include kinematics, the relationship between work, power and energy, waveforms, thermodynamics, fluid dynamics, electricity and light.

Glenn Couture creates physics models using the 3Doodler Create.

A key part of teaching these topics is taking abstract descriptions of how physics work, and letting students experience them first hand.

"Small changes to the project can prove to be outsized challenges that send students back to the drawing board." Share

Getting through those disparate topics can take a good chunk of time, but Couture caps off many of the units with physical projects. These let students apply what they’ve learned in class to a real-world problem, demonstrating that they haven’t just learned information, but they have an understanding of how to use it.

We gave Couture a 3Doodler Create and asked him to come up with exciting ways he could incorporate it into his lesson plans. One of the first things he looked at was the classic “egg drop” experiment.

Extreme Packaging

“In the current rendition of the egg drop, the students are only allowed to use plastic drinking straws, any sort as long as there’s no paper on them, masking tape, and one raw, uncooked, uncoated, unpainted egg. The idea is to have the egg land without breaking,” Couture said.

When it comes to the actual design of the project, he has only one limitation: “It has to fit through the door of the classroom. I’ve had students come close with that depending on how many straws they’re using.” The eggs and their straw enclosures are then brought to the school’s roof and dropped 55 feet to the ground. Only those students who have eggs survive the fall receive an A.

A prototype of a Doodled egg cage.

Couture wants to attempt a variation on that project using the 3Doodler, with some new constraints. “This could be done on a smaller scale, directly in the classroom,” Couture said while examining a prototype 3Doodler egg cage. “I don’t think that it could work the full distance of 55 feet, but 16 or 18 feet would work.”

He envisions a second round of testing, while providing only a limited number of rods to students. This would add a component of “cost effectiveness” to the project. In the real world, engineers often have limited materials to work with, and need to find ways to balance competing goals.

“We had a chance to visit with the packaging engineers at a [cookie manufacturer] where they have to package things to be in trucks and things like that. So there’s that application of what they learn in the egg-drop, where they keep a product from breaking up, but we can also go bigger and look at the failed Mars Climate Orbiter of the 90’s where the probe was lost because of an error translating metric and imperial units.” Small changes to the project can prove to be outsized challenges that send students back to the drawing board.

Model Atomic Behavior

Other projects that Couture was able to develop during his time with the 3Doodler include more illustrative of processes in physics. He built a prototype model of a side-face molecule placement crystal.

A Doodled visualization of molecules in a crystal lattice.

“In chemistry, solids form crystals,” he explained while showing off the cube, a helpful tool for visualizing the relationship between molecules in a crystal lattice.

"I sometimes find that students have difficulty taking a concept from 2D to 3D and vice versa." Share

The 3Doodler offers an advantage for these models by producing long lasting models which illustrate the stability of various crystal types. Couture said that he would like to let groups of students work on different crystals and build up a collection of varieties over time.

“I sometimes find that students have difficulty taking a concept from 2D to 3D and vice versa,” Couture added. He feels that the 3Doodler is a unique opportunity to bridge that gap, as well as more literal ones.

Building Bridges

Another physical project that Couture’s students engage in is called “Quakertown.” Students create buildings out of folded paper that must withstand both the addition of weights and a mechanically shaken table to simulate both static and dynamic loads.

A Doodled Parker Truss bridge.

Students in his classes could one day create bridges using the 3Doodler to understand the how these complex structures operate, and compare the strengths and weaknesses of different designs.

"On the page, it’s easy to understand the X axis and the Y axis, but having it in 3D really helps you grasp the Z axis." Share

Couture put together a Parker Truss bridge, using a template from online. He chose the design because its gentle curve would be hard to replicate using other craft methods. However, Couture felt the 3Doodler was easily up to the task, especially after he had cut his teeth putting together other projects.

Teaching in 3 Dimensions

The last of the four samples he produced was a model of the orbitals which describe where electrons orbiting the nucleus of an atom might be found.

A Doodled orbital model.

“On the page, it’s easy to understand the X axis and the Y axis,” Couture explained as he put the finishing touches on the model, “but having it in 3D really helps you grasp the Z axis.”

After spending some time exploring the possibilities of the 3Doodler, Couture describes himself as interested in finding even more uses for the tool. It opens up unique opportunities to explore the world of physics. And those opportunities extend beyond his own classroom.

“My wife teaches seventh and eighth grade science, and she’s interested in it too. They do a bridge project using toothpicks and glue. The problem with that is it takes so long for the glue to set but this is practically instant.”

New STEM fields are emerging all the time, and rising to those challenges will require a mixture of hands-on experience, creativity, and intuitive knowledge. Couture’s time with the 3Doodler has shown just a few ways that it can help provide just that.

Looking for more ways to bring 3Doodler into your classroom?
Check out our dedicated EDU section for classroom tips, lesson plans, and exclusive EDU bundles for educators.

A Whole New Way for the Blind to Create

“I always felt that if I could see, then I would enjoy painting.”

Margaret Wilson-Hinds, age 67, is participating in a special workshop at the Royal National Institute for Blind People (RNIB) main office in Peterborough, England. Along with several other blind and partially-sighted participants, Margaret has just tried the 3Doodler Start for the first time.

Beginning with the launch of the first 3Doodler in 2013, members of our community reached out to us to explore opportunities for using the 3Doodler to overcome a variety of learning obstacles. We spoke with community centres, teachers of non-traditional learners, physical rehabilitation specialists, and teachers of the blind—all of whom thought the 3Doodler could be used to make a real difference in individual lives. As our company has grown, so has our ability to focus on these needs, with our first challenge being to adapt the 3Doodler Start for the blind and partially sighted.

“The original thinking with the first version of the 3Doodler was that it could be used by teachers of the blind and partially sighted to make tactile learning aids,” explains 3Doodler President, Daniel Cowen. “This could include raised line graphing, maps and directions, shapes or objects a student could feel, quick braille markings, feeling handwriting, and more.”

"The real goal was to create a pen that blind and partially-sighted users could use themselves." Share

Daniel and 3Doodler CEO Maxwell Bogue took note as feedback came in from those who saw how a 3D printing pen could fill a gap amongst learning aids, and provide support for the blind.

“From our earliest discussions with interested community members, we also learned that existing aides, like swell paper, were expensive and could be inadequate for these needs,” says Daniel. “The 3Doodler offered a robust way to draw touchable learning aids.”

However, there was one significant shortfall—up until that point most of the discussions had been with teachers for the blind and had been focused on educators using the pen to make tactile learning aids for their students. The real goal was to create a pen that blind and partially-sighted users could use themselves—placing the joy and accomplishment of creativity and learning directly into their hands.

Three years later, the launch of the 3Doodler Start provided the pathway to make this possible. With no hot parts and a plastic cool enough to touch, we finally had a 3D printing pen that was safe for all users.

Shortly after launching the 3Doodler Start, our team began the process of understanding what changes would be needed to create a meaningful experience for blind and partially-sighted users.

“RNIB wanted to test the product because the whole idea of 3D printing is a revolution,” explains RNIB Head of Strategy Steve Tyler. “But this take on it is particularly interesting because it’s portable, it’s hand-held, and it’s a whole new way of being able to allow children, young people, and anybody who is vision impaired to be creative.”

With a proactive approach to new tech and how it could be applied to helping the visually impaired, RNIB was a natural fit for a collaboration with 3Doodler, and would ensure rigorous testing and feedback so that the product could be adapted and enhanced in a meaningful way.

Conversations with RNIB provided the 3Doodler team with useful preliminary advice—such as incorporating tactile markings on the pen instead of braille, and the importance of audio instructions for blind users.

Now, after a year of feedback and testing—which included individuals, as well as two schools for the blind and partially sighted—the 3Doodler Start has been given the official RNIB product endorsement, a quality assurance mark for products identified as “easy-to-use” for those who are blind or have sight loss.

And opening new avenues for the blind to express creatively isn’t just about innovation, it has a direct personal impact on people’s lives.

“Being able to draw, and being able to feel what you’ve drawn, or being able to create a product using this kind of manual 3D printing method is really new and innovative,” says Steve. “I’ve got a 5 year old son, and I spent an hour with him yesterday. A sighted son, and me as a blind father, and we were able to enjoy the 3Doodler together.”

"It’s a whole new way of being able to allow children, young people, and anybody who is vision impaired to be creative." Share

Back at the RNIB office in Peterborough, Roger Wilson-Hinds admits he was reluctant to participate in the 3Doodler workshop. “I came thinking I couldn’t cope with this kind of stuff, I had to persuade myself to come,” he says. But after experimenting with patterns on cups and forms, and creating a ring for himself, he’s glad he stepped out of his comfort zone. “I’ve come away with the idea that [the 3Doodler] could be really good, this could be good for lots of people.”

The official RNIB case study put the 3Doodler Start into the hands of both young students and adults, with participants aged between 8 and 78 and with varying degrees of sight loss and vision.

Through participant feedback as well as recommendations from RNIB, the 3Doodler Start now has tactile buttons, new audio instructions to help users get started, and will soon have full instructions in Braille.

“For me, I always enjoyed art but I could never fully see what I was doing,” says Mark Evans, at the RNIB workshop.

“And I’d have the idea in my head, and I’d draw it on the page, and it’d look awful! Because I’m not a great artist,” he laughs.

But with the 3Doodler, Mark didn’t feel the same sense of frustration he’d had in the past with traditional creative tools. “This would enable me to do things and be creative and produce a better quality of work and enjoy art a lot more,” he says.

Everyone at 3Doodler is immensely proud of the work done with RNIB, as well as the impact these product changes will have on the creative lives of our users. We want to thank everyone who has been involved in this project to date, and underscore our commitment to creating a world where every person, regardless of ability, can have access to the tools they need to create and learn.

To learn more about 3Doodler EDU products, click here:


Visit the official RNIB website to learn more about their work in supporting the blind and partially sighted.

The Future of EDU

Education has always been a key focus for 3Doodler. With a new Head of Education for 3Doodler EDU, and with another successful year at ISTE 2017, we’re looking to the future of education and tactile technology.

With a commitment to learning and classroom integration, we’re continually learning how we can improve accessibility and usability, to get more 3Doodlers into more classrooms and into the hands of more students.

A Focus on Education

As 3Doodler EDU grows and learns, we’ve expanded our education department with aerospace engineer and logistics and supply chain specialist Leah Wyman as our new Head of Education.

“We know the appointment of an aerospace and project engineer with supply chain experience to lead our education efforts may look unusual on paper,” admits 3Doodler Co-founder and CEO Maxwell Bogue. “But Leah’s engineering background, experience in data-driven strategy, and her lifelong love of learning make her the perfect fit for 3Doodler EDU.”

“Leah, as well as having an education background, also has a strong background in operations and management, and for us, in a way personifies STEM,” agrees 3Doodler Co-founder Daniel Cowen.

As a life-long leader in the push for gender equality in STEM subjects, Leah brings the experience and knowledge vital to helping 3Doodler’s own efforts in closing the gender gap.

“Having done engineering at school, and part of the minority of women in that field, Leah gives us an insight that allows us to help level that playing field even further,” explains Daniel.

Leah’s current focus is a close examination of the end-to-end experience of 3Doodler EDU. From first discovery to integration in the classroom and returning feedback to the company, Leah’s primary concern is providing the resources and accessibility that helps educators get the most out of their EDU bundles. But more than anything, she wants to be able to help teachers and students discover the joy of learning.

"Learning should be fun, and this is a way to help teachers achieve that." Share

“One of my goals is to really illustrate how learning is fun,” Leah explains. “Learning should be fun, and this is a way to help teachers achieve that. Teachers want that, and so do the kids.”

Leah says that having fun and engaging in the learning process is key. “I was lucky that I enjoyed learning when I was growing up, and that helped shape who I am today,” she says. “All kids deserve that opportunity, and 3Doodler can really help bring lessons to life in a fun way.”

Building Creative Classrooms

Integrating 3Doodler into education has always been a part of our mission.

“From the very early days of 3Doodler there was a keen interest within the education sector in what we were doing,” recalls Daniel. “And we saw this coming from a lot of different groups—special needs groups as well as just educators generally.”

While one of our initial concepts for how the 3Doodler could be applied in an educational setting was for STEM—Science, Technology, Engineering, Math—subjects, it soon became clear that there were no limits for how the 3Doodler could help students learn.

We’ve seen creative teachers use the 3Doodler to teach any combination of subjects, like creating a model town to help students engage with history and English. Educators across the country have found that the 3Doodler is the perfect tool for integrating art into the typical STEM subjects, to create STEAM for a well-rounded curriculum.

Other teachers have found that a tactile learning tool like 3Doodler helps students with learning disabilities engage better in the classroom.

For Leah, that hands-on learning opportunity is what makes 3Doodler so special. “I think every student can benefit from having that hands-on experience with learning,” she explains, “but there are other students who don’t learn in a traditional way who can really benefit from this. They might think they’re a bad student, but when you put something like the 3Doodler in their hands, then they realise they can do it, but just in a different way.”

“If we can help students who are more visually or tactile oriented progress quicker than they would have otherwise, then that’s a great thing,” Daniel agrees. “It levels the playing field. And every study we’ve done has shown that students that otherwise might have been at a disadvantage because they’re not textbook oriented have thrived with a tactile tool like the 3Doodler.”

"If we can help students who are more visually or tactile oriented progress quicker than they would have otherwise, then that’s a great thing." Share

With EDU bundles for both the 3Doodler Start and Create, we’re looking to a future of integrated tech in classrooms all over the world. And as we continue to seek new ways to design our products, website, and materials to be more classroom friendly, we’re also looking at ways to make the 3Doodler accessible for any teacher or student.

Initiatives like our partnership with DonorsChoose.org opened up creative possibilities for students across the country.

“The dream is to have this in every school, whether private or public, and to have 3Doodler accessible to every student, no matter their income level or where they are in the world,” says Daniel.

Read about how teachers Connie and Blair and Patricia and Christy funded their DonorChoose.org projects and integrated 3Doodler into their classrooms.

3Doodler at ISTE 2017

ISTE 2017 marks 3Doodler’s third year of participating in the education conference that brings thousands of teachers together to share and celebrate their ideas for STEM innovation and tech.

“For us, ISTE is as much showing off our wares as it is about absorbing the thoughts from thousands to tens of thousands of teachers on what we can be doing to improve the classroom experience and to take 3Doodler and adapt it and our materials so the students can gain even more from it,” explains Daniel.

Leah agrees. “It was great to be able to interface with the teachers and also some students that were there to really understand their ideas for the product,” she says. “Especially the teachers who already had 3Doodler EDU bundles and could explain some of their lesson plans. I’m so impressed with how teachers have been able to integrate the pens into their classrooms already.”

One teacher explained how she had used the 3Doodler to give her health students a clearer concept of disease and how different sicknesses affect the body. In pairs, one student would use the 3Doodler to create a model of a healthy organ, while the other was tasked with Doodling the same organ but with a specific illness.

In other cases, teachers and students discovering the 3Doodler for the first time discovered new applications that hadn’t considered before. “We have a fully articulated Doodled hand that we bring to every show and it sits on the front table,” says Daniel. “This year, a deaf student and teacher with their sign translator came by the booth, and saw the hand. Mid-conversation, the sign translator started using the articulated hand to make sign gestures.”

It was something the team had never seen before, and were immediately struck with how something like a Doodled hand could be used to teach sign language in a tactile way.

"ISTE is as much showing off our wares as it is about absorbing the thoughts from thousands to tens of thousands of teachers." Share

Other discoveries for the team came from concerns from teachers who were able to picture exactly how their kids might use—or try to misuse—the pens in the classroom.

This year, 3Doodler was proud to feature EDU bundles for the 3Doodler Start and showcase how younger learners could benefit from tactile technology in the classroom. One teacher was concerned about whether the 3Doodler Start plastic would come out of carpet.

“The teacher said they could just picture the students sitting on the floor of the classroom and Doodling into the carpet,” Daniel says. “So we decided to find out!”

He immediately sat down with a 3Doodler Start on the carpeted floor of the ISTE convention hall and brazenly Doodled as an elementary student might.

Fortunately for everyone involved, the Start plastic came right off, and ISTE 2017 was able to continue with more teachable moments.

A Doodle a Day

Just as “an apple a day will keep the doctor away,” creating something every day can have measurable benefits.

Art may not keep the doctor away, but it can still improve your life, your motor skills, and even your mental health. We spoke to an expert about just what shape these benefits take, with a focus on what art can do for students.

An exceptionally wide variety of people can benefit from creating art, according to Dawn Gilbert Ippoliti. Ippoliti is a licensed, board certified, and registered art therapist in New York City who has been in practice since 2003. As an art therapist, she develops ways to use art with clients of all ages to achieve goals that can range from gaining insight into a client’s psychological state, to exercising their minds through engaging in a creative process. She has also engaged in art therapy with children in New York City’s public schools.

"Creativity promotes productivity while reducing stress, anxiety, depression, and really just makes you function better overall and feel better as a human being." Share

Art therapy is becoming an increasingly popular field, which Ippoliti believes is in large part due to recent research into the concept of “neuroplasticity,” the ability of the brain to reorganize itself and form new connections.

Forming new connections is critical to STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), which is gaining prominence in many education circles. With the emergence of a high-tech economy, educators are realizing the importance of emphasizing subjects that help students master and enter these new fields.

But a simple mastery of numbers is not enough to excel in many STEM jobs. This includes brand new jobs that didn’t exist 10 years ago as well as traditional ones such as engineering and programming. To truly excel not just in these fields, but in life as well, people need a healthy dose of creativity. Combining art with the more technical fields yields STEAM, a more holistic approach to preparing students for the future.

“When people engage in art making,” Ippoliti says, “they’re really tapping into the right side of their brain, they’re getting those creative juices flowing and they’re stimulating the side of the brain responsible for creation and emotion, an abstract way of thinking as opposed to the left which is more rational.”

Getting both sides of the brain working in concert, what is known as “whole brain stimulation” is very beneficial according to Ippoliti. “There is research that indicates that creativity promotes productivity while reducing stress, anxiety, depression, and really just makes you function better overall and feel better as a human being. Art therapy’s goal is to provide that stimulation.”

Ippoliti sees the 3Doodler as uniquely suited to providing that whole brain stimulation. “Using something like the dinosaur stencils on the website you can use the pen to make all the little bones and put it all together. So you’re not only being creative in terms of picking the design you want or the color that you want, you’re creating something, but then you’re putting it together like a puzzle and really engaging in whole brain thinking.”

The 3Doodler is unique in that it can provide familiarity with a high-tech material like extruded plastic while also encouraging a tactile feel that relies on an individual’s motor skills. There is extensive evidence that there are numerous benefits for children to work with art. There are obvious advantages to fine motor skills and spatial thinking, but being able to express themselves in any medium can lead to more confidence and more capacity for critical thinking.

The ability of the 3Doodler to fuse these different types of thinking is particularly valuable.

“There are some schools of thought that students should focus purely on academics,” Ippoliti says of curriculums that don’t make room for art. “These types of academics will focus purely on engaging the left side of the brain, but you need balance to really get all the benefits of a growing brain. You need the symbiosis between the two hemispheres. You need to be constantly engaging both sides of the brain to grow optimally.”

"It can be hard to figure out where to begin with a project, and the 3Doodler is great for just getting your ideas out there." Share

Beyond the extensive benefits for growing individuals, creating art of all sorts has a real value for everybody. Some research suggests that there are both psychological and physical benefits to creating art, with certain kinds yielding different therapeutic values. And one of the most significant perks of creating art is that getting the benefits is as simple as picking up a tool and getting started. That’s why Ippoliti loves the name of the 3Doodler.

“It can be hard to figure out where to begin with a project, and the 3Doodler is great for just getting your ideas out there. The name, ‘3Doodler’ means it doesn’t have to feel like you’re creating a masterpiece from the start. The name says ‘let’s just get it out there,’ and in art therapy getting the process started is often one of the most important parts.”

5 Careers That Didn’t Exist 10 Years Ago

Technology is changing the world, sometimes faster than education can keep up! With new career options developing, students now have a wider selection than ever before.

We believe in the importance of getting kids used to new tech and educational advancements early on. After all, this is what will shape the landscape for future career and job possibilities later on.

This week, we take a look at five new in-demand career options for STEM and tech-savvy students to consider.

Genetic Counselor

One field that has seen great benefits from new advancements in technology is medicine. New understandings of genetics and the data now available has opened up specialized opportunities for jobs that would have sounded like science fiction not too long ago.

Genetic Counselling can cover everything from cancer treatments to prenatal care and family planning. Some Genetic Counselors even specialize in specific fields like cardiology, neurology, or fertility.

Counselors look at each individual patient’s genetics, and examine the data to try and predict and prevent medical disorders. But the main part of the job, of course, is the patient. Genetic Counselors need to know how to connect and support each patient, and help explain the complicated medical side of things in ways that are easy to understand.

To be a Genetic Counselor, you’d need a Master’s degree in genetics, and likely would also need some certification in counselling as well. For students who love science and data, but are also very people-focused, this would be a perfect field to explore.

Nuclear Medicine Technologist

The job title alone seems daunting, but the actual job is less scary than it sounds. This is another new field that has sprung up alongside technological advancements in medicine—specifically all the new machinery that modern medicine relies on.

Nuclear Medicine Technologists operate all specialized medical equipment, like CT and PET scanners, gamma cameras, and other imaging tools used to help diagnose medical issues. The technologists need to know how to care for and operate the machines, a vital task considering how closely technology and medicine are tied.

And as medical technology continues to grow and improve, so will this career field. Continual developments and innovation means a need for technologists who understand and can work alongside doctors and patients to help reach a diagnosis.

The job doesn’t require a medical degree, but does take good interpersonal skills and attention to detail, as the machines are often delicate and complicated. An interest in robots and engineering is important, and there are accreditation programs available for students looking to enter this field.

Sustainability Manager

When it comes to business, everyone knows it’s all about the green. No, we’re not talking about money! The new trend for businesses is environmentalism and sustainability, and more and more companies are realizing that going green is the way forward.

That’s where Sustainability Managers come in. This role means making sure a company is doing all it can to enforce the most environmentally-friendly practices possible, but at the best price for the company. This takes a lot of creativity, and excellent communication skills to get everyone on board and make your ideas a reality.

And it’s not just companies that are looking to fill this new role. Everything from corporations to universities, and even large cities need Sustainability Managers to create long-term plans to help them go—and stay—green.

A degree in Environmental Science and a passion for saving the planet is the way to go for students interested in pursuing a career in this field.

Drone Operator

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles sounds more like a code name for flying saucers rather than a new career field. But UAVs and drones are flying us into the future, with major companies like Amazon, Google, and Facebook looking to expand their drone teams.

Drone Operators are in high demand, and for a large variety of purposes. While Amazon is looking to expand drone use for package delivery, news and media companies are looking for operators with more artistic talent to capture aerial footage in photos and videos.

For this new job field, the sky is the limit when it comes to possibilities. Some experts expect drones to be used in everything from agriculture to public safety, oil and gas exploration, and even in the film industry.

Some universities are already beginning to offer specialized courses in drone operation and manufacturing, but as it’s still a new field there are a lot of different backgrounds that students can explore. Drone Operators should have an interest in robotics and engineering, but can supplement this with skills in photography and videography, or other personal passions and interests.

Data Miner

What’s more precious that rubies and diamonds? Data—for companies, at least. In our new digital age, customer information and behavioral patterns are crucial for businesses to stay on top of the game, and they need experts to make sense of all the data they collect.

Data Miners help companies deal with “Big Data”. They predict future trends based on current and past consumer behavior, all extracted from the world of data that businesses collect. Everything from transactions to complaints and even social media reviews gets picked through by Data Miners to find patterns and make sense of it all.

And there’s plenty of related jobs within this data-driven career field. Digital Marketing and Social Media Management are new roles that are also becoming increasingly necessary as consumers take to online platforms for everything from shopping to costumer service. Businesses are finding that having an online presence is vital, and they need people familiar with how social media works in order to get the job done.

As a brand new field, there are lots of educational paths students can take if they’re interested in a Data Mining or other digital careers. A degree in Library Sciences is great for Data Miners, while a background in marketing or writing is useful for other jobs within the social sphere.

For students looking for new career opportunities, imagination is really the only limit. We are constantly seeing new fields open up, often in places we never even thought of.

And of course, students always have the option to invent something completely new! After all, the 3Doodler didn’t even exist five years ago.

Looking for more ways to bring 3Doodler into your classroom?
Check out our dedicated EDU section for classroom tips, lesson plans, and exclusive EDU bundles for educators.

3Doodler x DonorsChoose.org: The Only Limit is Their Imagination

Late last year, a group of teachers in the US each got their DonorsChoose.org projects fully funded, thanks to a matching offer from 3Doodler. As a result, students in classrooms across the country got their hands on 3Doodler Start pens, and were able to unleash creativity in the classroom like never before.

In the second of our DonorsChoose.org teacher profiles, we take a look at two more educators, Patricia Dennis-McClung of Sonora Middle School in Springdale, Arkansas, and Christy Marta of Aspen Ridge School in Ishpeming, Michigan.

Ask Patricia Dennis-McClung what it is that motivates her as a teacher, and she’ll tell you that it’s the ‘aha’ moments on her students’ faces. “It’s seeing their faces light up,” she says, when they finally grasp a concept, or when they make that crucial connection from A to B. Throw the same question to Christy Marta, and she’d agree and say that her students push her to be a better person and a better teacher. “They are an inspiration to others even if they don’t know it yet.”

Sonora Middle School has a very diverse make-up, with about half of the students identifying as Hispanic and 15% as Marshallese. “Springdale has the largest Marshallese population outside of the Marshall islands.” Over 52% of students meet the low-income criteria, and 78% of the students enrolled at Sonora Middle School receive free or reduced lunch – “and that’s those that have filled out the paperwork and qualified,” Patricia adds, as many of the parents simply don’t know how.

Aspen Ridge School is, Christy says, a rural school in a remote community. “We have a large preschool-8th-grade population, and with the cost of basic supplies, curriculum materials, and intervention programs, it’s sometimes difficult to meet all current needs.” One of her main priorities is ensuring that her students leave her classroom with a lifelong love of learning. Key to that is having access to proper materials, like the 3Doodler Start EDU bundle successfully funded late last year.

Much like Blair and Connie, Christy and Patricia both came across 3Doodler via DonorsChoose.org. Patricia had wanted for some time to incorporate 3D printing pens into her 3D design classes, and when she saw the matching offer made by 3Doodler, she knew that they would be perfect for the gifted and talented program at her school.

"The pens have turned an everyday assignment into something amazing." Share

“3D printing is something that a lot of these kids are going to be working with in the future,” she says. “And that’s something that I don’t think people have really thought about at the moment.” The 3Doodler Create Half EDU bundle that they received earlier this year has given her students an opportunity to have a hands-on experience with technology that already shapes the way the world works – from Hershey’s Kisses to homes that have been printed entirely with 3D tech. “It’s just insane the way technology is moving, so I think that it’s important for kids to have exposure to it.”

For Christy, the reasons for choosing 3Doodler were a little simpler – after discovering the Match Offer, she did a little research on 3Doodler and what the pens could do, she realised that they would be ideal for use in her classes.

“I looked into them,” she says, “And loved what I saw. I thought I could use them to help my students visualise shapes in their actual 3D forms in math, make models of plants, cells and planets in science, and write stories and create characters through 3D modeling in language arts. I saw the students being able to bring their ideas to life, and I thought it would add fun and excitement to the curriculum.” It has, Christy adds, gone beyond that – her students absolutely love using the pens. The pens have “turned an everyday assignment into something amazing,” and her students have come up with any number of ways in which to use the pens, which they beg to be able to use every day.

"I’m always just shocked by the people that I don’t know that donate. It shows how important something like DonorsChoose.org is." Share

It’s clear that this enthusiasm for the pens is shared by Patricia’s students too. “They love them,” she says. “When they see them laid out, they get really excited. The first time we used them, it was in a 45 minute class, and I was just so impressed that they did so much better than I did.” Patricia’s students went from using the pens to weld 3D printed pieces together, to using them to create small-scale models of things they’d create on a 3D printer. “There will be more ways for the students to use the pens than what I’d initially anticipated. I’m going to be creating a makerspace so that more students from the school can use them. I want to be able to provide an opportunity for more students to use them than just my class.”

Both Christy and Patricia have said that the pens, and the use of tactile technology, have been very easily incorporated into their classroom work. “They’re a great motivator for kids,” Christy says, “and are an effective teaching tool. Students are allowed free time to use the pens after all their work is complete, and it has been very effective.” Her students are always thrilled to be able to use them, and whatever they create is only ever limited by their own imagination.

Unlike Blair and Connie, both Patricia and Christy shared their DonorsChoose.org projects openly with their students – Christy’s students are in fact begging her to do another project to get more pens or more of the plastic refills. When it came to getting their projects heard, neither educator did all that much, other than post about it on social media. “Since we do have such an impoverished community, [the children and their parents] were not able to donate to it,” Patricia explains. “I have a classroom Instagram page so I put it on there, and I put it on Facebook too. I’m always just shocked by the people that I don’t know that donate. It shows how important something like DonorsChoose.org is.” Christy also shared her project on Facebook, and adds that this project had been fully funded by two donors. “Normally I’d have parents or companies to thank, but both of the donations were anonymous.”

As much fun as the students have been having with the pens (and both educators have plenty to say on that topic!), for Patricia it’s all about what they’ll take away from the experience of using them. “Are they fun? Absolutely,” she says, “but hopefully it’ll allow them to see things differently.” Tactile technology, and the benefits of hands-on learning with the pens can already be felt, mere months into use for both teachers. “I think they’re a bit more cooperative. There’s always someone that’s willing to jump in and help out another student, or they’ll swap pens and say ‘here, use mine and I’ll fix yours’.”

The possibilities are endless, agrees Christy, and it’s thanks to platforms like DonorsChoose.org, which has allowed educators access to materials previously inaccessible to them. “Every day, the students demonstrate that they are critical thinkers, leaders, dreamers, hard workers, and amazing little people.”

Looking for more ways to bring 3Doodler into your classroom?
Check out our dedicated EDU section for classroom tips, lesson plans, and exclusive EDU bundles for educators.

3Doodler x DonorsChoose.org: What They Are Creating

Late last year, a group of teachers in the US each got their DonorsChoose.org projects fully funded, thanks to a matching offer from 3Doodler. As a result, students in classrooms across the country got their hands on 3Doodler Start pens, and were able to unleash creativity in the classroom like never before.

In the first of our DonorsChoose.org teacher profiles, we shine a light on two of these teachers, Blair Mishleau of Washington DC’s Kipp DC: Heights Academy, and Connie Bagley of Crockett Elementary School in San Marco, Texas.

Students at Kipp DC: Heights Academy get first-hand experience with the 3Doodler Start

This wasn’t Blair Mishleau’s first DonorsChoose.org rodeo—the Washington DC-based teacher is a veteran of the crowdfunding website for educators, having raised more than $20,000, and with more than nine projects under his belt.

“I want to provide my kids with choice and voice,” he says. His school is a public charter school in Washington DC in one of the most historically underserved neighbourhoods of the state. The school has 450 students, and 99% of them are African American. Of that number, 90% qualify for free or reduced-price lunches—a pretty useful measure, Blair adds, of the socioeconomic statuses of the families of the students.

"The students could write with them, and then actually feel the shape of the letters." Share

Connie Bagley, a dyslexia reading specialist, has approximately 650 students at her school from Kindergarten through 5th grade. Over 75% of the students there are economically disadvantaged. It is student success that motivates Connie as a teacher—every day she works with dyslexic learners that advance best when taught through visual, auditory, and tactile/kinesthetic methods.

Connie Bagley's students make letters you can touch

“Seeing students learn to read, then read to learn is what makes this job rewarding.” That’s why Connie decided that the 3Doodler Start pens would be great for her students. “My first thought was that these would be perfect for multisensory instruction. My students learn best with a VAKT program: visual, auditory, tactile/kinesthetic.” The 3Doodler pens, would be very effective at fulfilling the tactile portion of the program. “The students could write with them, and then actually feel the shape of the letters.”

Both Connie and Blair came across 3Doodler in the same way—via emails from DonorsChoose.org that told them about a matching offer with 3Doodler. Any donations made by the public would be matched by 3Doodler, ensuring that the project would be fulfilled in half the time (or as quickly as possible!). That’s why, Blair says, websites like DonorsChoose.org are so important to his students, as it opens up access to tools for disadvantaged kids that they simply wouldn’t have otherwise.

Late last year, Blair’s project requesting a 3Doodler Start EDU Bundle for his technology classes was fully funded. The pens have been utilised in his 1st and 4th grade technology classes, which focus on tech literacy, computer programming, keyboarding, and “pretty much anything else that would be helpful in providing access and opportunity around technology”. And they have, for the most part, lived up to expectations.

"No kid has said ‘I can’t figure this out,’ or ‘I give up,’ with the pens. I can’t think of a tool that I’ve used where that’s been the case." Share

“I often find that a lot of tech projects are a lot more sexier and user friendly in videos and photos compared to when you actually get them, but once I got the pens, I realized how sturdy they were, and how easy they are to use.” Each one of his classes only gets to use the 3Doodler pens once a week, but they’ve already quickly adapted to using them. “No kid has said ‘I can’t figure this out,’ or ‘I give up,’ with the pens. I can’t think of a tool that I’ve used where that’s been the case.”

Students in Blair Mishleau’s class cooperate to create

Connie has found equal enthusiasm in her classes for her 3Doodler Start EDU bundle. “The students are begging to use them,” she says, although they’re still getting used to them for now. Connie’s students are taking full advantage of other objects around them, using small paper cups as bases to create things like rocket ships and towers, with stars and other shapes as decorations. Connie also plans to share her pens with fellow teachers who do lessons on architecture.

One thing that Blair has noticed is that his students have worked as a team much better than he would have thought they would using the pens. “I don’t have enough pens for everyone—just one per two children—but I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how kind they are. Not only do they work in groups, but I’ll see students—when it’s not technically their turn to use the pens—helping others.” Not only have his students been working better together, Blair has also found that they have been taking creative steps without his input—with some children building geometric shapes before he had even introduced them as a concept.

Both Connie and Blair chose not to tell their students about their DonorsChoose.org projects, as they did not want to have to disappoint them if they weren’t funded. “My students did not even know I had submitted a project,” said Connie. Blair did the same as he felt it was better to under-promise and over-deliver.

"I don’t have enough pens for everyone, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how kind they are. I’ll see students—when it’s not technically their turn to use the pens—helping others." Share

They needn’t have worried: although neither did much self-promotion to push their projects forward, anonymous donors from across the country were still willing to contribute to their cause. “Someone called Jacob donated, and I literally have no idea who it is,” Blair said, adding that someone else from the District of Columbia donated with a gift card. “Most of these people are people I don’t know.” Connie has had a similar experience—one of her donors left a comment saying that she was also a special education teacher and that she understood the need for something like 3Doodler in the classroom.

All in all, for Connie and Blair the 3Doodler pens have gotten off to a great start in their classrooms, an achievement that wouldn’t have been possible without incredible platforms like DonorsChoose.org, their vision for including innovative new tools in their schools, and the unwavering support of all the project donors out there.

Looking for more ways to bring 3Doodler into your classroom?
Check out our dedicated EDU section for classroom tips, lesson plans, and exclusive EDU bundles for educators.

From Classroom Dreams to Community Donations

In November 2016, 3Doodler joined with DonorsChoose.org to help make tactile tech a reality for classrooms across the USA.

Our pledge was to match each donation to projects requesting a 3Doodler EDU Bundle, dollar for dollar. We’re always looking for ways to encourage hands-on learning and tactile methods for teaching, and there’s no better way to do that than through the requests of teachers themselves.

Over the next few weeks we’ll be going into the classrooms that had their 3Doodler EDU projects fully funded through our matching campaign. We’ll speak with the teachers, and get an inside look at the difference DonorsChoose.org and 3Doodler has made.

Looking for more ways to bring 3Doodler into your classroom?
Check out our dedicated EDU section for classroom tips, lesson plans, and exclusive EDU bundles for educators.

How tactile technology can help those with learning disabilities

One (teaching) size fits all? Experienced educators know that’s not how it works— especially when it comes to teaching students with learning disabilities. Not every student responds well to traditional, classroom-based teaching methods, and what makes one student’s eyes light up in understanding, might leave another as confused as they were before the start of class.

One in five children and adults in the US are affected by learning or attention issues, and approximately 8% of children aged 3-17 are reported as having been diagnosed with a learning disorder. While personalized learning for those with learning disabilities might be the ideal, adapting teaching methods to individuals can be difficult in a large classroom, and teachers don’t want students with learning disabilities to feel singled out.

Moving towards tactile technology

Many teachers are turning to tactile learning and evolving technologies as a way to engage students across different learning styles and needs. As part of a multi-sensory learning approach, tactile technology can help students across a range of skill development areas and a broad range of subjects. Such an approach is especially helpful for students with learning difficulties like dyslexia and similar impairments such as dyscalculia and dysgraphia—which affect math and writing understanding and abilities.

Assistive technology that plays to the student’s strengths and works around their challenges has already been making its presence known in the classroom—from interactive white boards, to the more recent addition of 3D printers.

More schools for students with learning disabilities are embracing technology, and makerspace tech like 3D printers, cameras and robotics kits can now be found in educational facilities across the USA and around the world. The results are clear: hands-on learning with physical tools helps students to understand ideas and concepts that are otherwise hard to grasp, enables interest in industries related to technology, and can be particularly effective in cultivating interest in STEM subjects. And there’s plenty of successful examples of this in practice.

The Benefits of Hands-on Learning

Tactile teaching—using physical, demonstrative, auditory or visual objects—can help keep students engaged and helps them focus their minds on the present. Tech that encourages people to physically be involved like the Raspberry Pi, 3D printers, and of course 3Doodler bring a new or relatively unexplored aspect of learning into the classroom.

Students who struggle with ADHD may vastly prefer tactile learning methods over auditory or visual learning styles. Having to create a diorama or a model might mean students understand better than if they were asked to simply imagine a spatial arrangement, the concept of geometry, or complex equations in their head. "When students are given the tools to physically create a model, they can see exactly how all the parts come together to function as a whole." ShareAsking a student to create a model of the Eiffel Tower, for example, demands much more due diligence than just getting them to sketch it out. It may be difficult for someone who has dyslexia or ADD to concentrate long enough on understanding why the tower’s structural integrity relies on many different factors, but physical tools would help engage them enough to grasp why certain shapes work better than others, how math factors into construction, and why some materials work better than others.

Teachers have found that using tactile teaching methods in subjects like biology can reap better results than when students are asked only to visualise a concept. When students are given the tools to physically create a model of a cell, for example, they can see exactly how all the parts come together to function as a whole. Consider if students who have dysgraphia are asked to explain why a beetle looks the way it does—if they can create their own beetle and physically point out why it has adapted to its environment, they stand a better chance of being able to contribute to a class discussion than if they are forced to fall back on writing it out.

Dyslexic students, who may have visual or auditory deficiencies, may find that they excel when they apply tactile or kinesthetic methods to their learning. People who have trouble reading words, letters or numbers could benefit from creative solutions such as making their own words, letters or numbers (handy for those with dyscalculia) on plastic blocks helps them process sequences or equations better.

Across the board, in subjects that range from the arts to hard sciences, tactile technology has proven tremendously beneficial. When it comes to adapting for students with learning disabilities, it’s time to put down those pens and pencils and pick up a tool of a different sort. With new tactile tech, your students can have their hands (quite literally) full with tools to help them grasp the practical skills and knowledge that comes from innovative learning.

Get out there, and be creative. Your students will thank you for it.

Looking for more ways to bring 3Doodler into your classroom?
Check out our dedicated EDU section for classroom tips, lesson plans, and exclusive EDU bundles for educators.

Bring 3D tech to your Classroom

Tactile technology has a huge role to play in the future of education. Whether giving visual learners the tools they need to thrive, levelling the gender gap in STEAM subjects, or making classrooms more engaging places to learn, we want to contribute.

Today we are taking a giant step towards that goal, announcing a Matching Offer with DonorsChoose.org to make 3Doodler more accessible to teachers across the United States. Coupled with our dedicated 3Doodler EDU website, we’re supporting educators with all the resources they need to integrate 3D technology into their classrooms.

Here’s what you can do to help take learning to a new dimension.

What is DonorsChoose.org?

DonorsChoose.org makes it easy for anyone to support a classroom in need, ensuring students in every community have the tools and experiences for a great education.

Connecting the public with educators across the country, DonorsChoose.org lets teachers request materials for their classrooms, and showcases those requests on the DonorsChoose.org platform so that anyone can donate.

Donors can search through projects and choose the ones they want to donate towards. Once the project reaches its goal, DonorsChoose.org purchases the items and delivers them directly to the school, making classroom dreams a reality.

3Doodler & Donorschoose.org

3Doodler has partnered with DonorsChoose.org to double the impact of every donation to projects requesting 3Doodler products for classroom use.

When teachers and educators start a project on DonorsChoose.org and request a 3Doodler EDU bundle for their schools or classroom, 3Doodler will match every donation made to these projects – dollar for dollar.

This means more opportunities for students across the country to get hands-on with 3D tech.

3Doodler’s Place in the Classroom

Put simply, the 3Doodler helps students make physical sense of things that are otherwise hard to understand. What’s more powerful than that?

We’ve always believed that the 3Doodler will be an essential part of any STEAM curriculum, serving as an introduction to emerging tech, 3D creation, and most importantly, a tactile way to explore math and science. Be it Engineering, Art and Design, Computational Thinking, or Geometry, exploring concepts in a project-based and hands-on way enhances engagement and understanding.

Beyond STEAM, teachers and educators continue to surprise us with the array of applications they have found for the 3Doodler. Teachers like Eva Reilly have found ways to bridge subjects using the 3Doodler, like this historical project she introduced to her high school English class. Others are using it to pioneer tactile learning for the blind and visually impaired, creating adaptable learning aids on the fly.

We’re humbled and inspired by this, with educators continuing to show us how 3D technology can be applied to any subject and nearly any lesson.

"As teachers, we learn that hands-on projects help students apply what they learn in school to the world around us – predictable and unpredictable. Students learn that, in the end, everything we learn in school comes together – English, history, math, science, and technology."-Eva Reilly, English Teacher Share

How You Can Start a 3Doodler Project on Donorschoose.org

For teachers and educators in the United States who want to introduce 3Doodler into your classrooms, we’ll be matching every donation made to your DonorsChoose.org Project (while funds last!).

All you need to do is choose the 3Doodler EDU bundle that's right for your school or classroom:
  • 3Doodler Create EDU 12 pen bundle for larger classrooms with students aged 14+

  • 3Doodler Create EDU 6 pen bundle for smaller-sized classes and projects with students aged 14+

  • 3Doodler Start EDU 12 pen bundle for younger students aged 8+

Once you have chosen the right EDU bundle for you, get your project set up and started on DonorsChoose.org.

Each donation made to your project will have double the impact, with 3Doodler supporting you all the way, matching each dollar donated!

For educators outside the USA, 3Doodler EDU bundles are available from edu.the3Doodler.com, or contact us at [email protected] with any questions, or to find your local distributors and resellers.

A Model Town from a Model Classroom

We often discuss the classroom applications for 3Doodler in STEM subjects, or as a way for students to learn about emerging technologies. But the educational benefits of 3Doodler aren’t just restricted to math and science, as English teacher Eva Reilly shows.

Reilly challenged her high school English class to make a model of their home town – Phillips, Wisconsin – as a way to inspire proper research and learn how to find reliable and trustworthy sources.

The class constructed their eight-foot model of the downtown street as part of their non-fiction unit in their English curriculum. And as with any non-fiction project, the first step is research.

“They read and wrote reviews of articles, memoirs, letters from books, newspapers, periodicals, and the internet about Phillips,” says Reilly.

The students took note of notable historical events that had affected the town, and shaped how it looked – like the Phillips Fire of 1894.

This fire swept through the entire downtown area the students were recreating, levelling many of the original structures. In the rebuilding efforts, the major buildings were required to be made from brick as a fire-safety measure.

"History is not just about events of way back in the day; it is the making of our past, present, and future" Share

Knowing the history and events which resulted in how the town currently looks gave new meaning to the construction of the model. “After learning about the history of Phillips and its development, students picked business buildings downtown to reconstruct on a scale model,” Reilly says. “They didn’t realize how difficult the project would be at first.”

Students visited the buildings in person, taking photos to use in the construction of their model to make sure they could be as accurate as possible. They also talked to residents with first-hand knowledge of the buildings’ histories and how they had been renovated throughout the years, all while keeping notes in fieldwork journals to chronicle the project.

To create the models, Reilly introduced some cross-subject integration by having the student figure out the correct dimensions for each building using algebra and geometry. “They learned we need math in everything we do, not just in the classroom,” Reilly says. “Sometimes, quite frankly, they were confused as to whether they were in math, science, history, or English class, but the process sure kept them engaged!”

Using 3Doodler pens, the students got to work constructing their model town. They needed to refer to their notes, photos, and research to make the buildings accurate for a realistic model. “The students learned that English is not just reading about fiction or nonfiction material, but it is also a bit of a history lesson,” Reilly says. “History is not just about events of way back in the day; it is the making of our past, present, and future.”

"As teachers, we learn that hands-on projects help students apply what they learn in school to the world around us" Share

Reilly is continuing the project again with future classes. The model – which is currently on display at the Phillips Public Library – will continue to grow as students each year research a different area of the town.

“As teachers, we learn that hands-on projects help students apply what they learn in school to the world around us – predictable and unpredictable,” explains Reilly. “Students learn that, in the end, everything we learn in school comes together – English, history, math, science, and technology.”

Looking for more ways to bring 3Doodler into your classroom?
Check out our dedicated EDU section for classroom tips, lesson plans, and exclusive EDU bundles for educators.

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