3D Printing Elective at China Middle School

The seventh and eighth grade students at China Middle School have a unique opportunity when choosing electives – 3D printing!

This elective is taught by an eleven-year veteran of education, Jamie Dugan. Jamie, a seventh-grade math teacher, is not a stranger to technology. Jamie earned a BS in Math and Computer Science from Springfield College and has been using that degree ever since, saying, “I have been privileged to work at schools that value technology in the classroom.”

Jamie’s latest endeavor is offering a 3D printing elective to her students. In this once-a-week elective, students start by learning the fundamentals of 3D printing either by looking at an example or watching a video. Students then learn how the 3D printer works and how to use it, and finish the class by designing something of their choice in the application, Tinkercad. The goal is that every student prints an object before the elective ends, which is not as straightforward as it seems.

“Not all 3D prints will work,” Dugan says, but “learning and understanding how to create 3D items can lead to creativity and innovation,” which is a goal of the elective.

In the end, students have printed some fantastic things: door stops, octopi, fidget spinners, phone docks, game pieces, and stands for computers. It is not all about the stuff, though, Dugan noted, “As a building, we believe that 3D printing is a great way to make a connection to our content and make it feel authentic.”

To learn more about the work Jamie Dugan is doing with 3-D printing at China Middle School, you can reach out at: jdugan@rsu18.org.

This story was written and coordinated by MLTI Ambassador Erik Wade as part of the Maine Schools Sharing the Success Campaign. To learn more, or to submit a story or an idea for a story, email rachel.paling@maine.gov.