Join Michael Hathorn for an in-depth discussion in this video Mike Hathorn: 3D Printing in the Classroom - Film, part of Mike Hathorn: 3D Printing in the Classroom.
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(upbeat electronic music) - Mike has managed to turn what was his passion and his interest, he's narrowly defined that now, and he also has spent a lot of time figuring out how he can translate that to kids. He's teaching the kids what's out there. His classes are full. Kids want to be in his presence as an instructor. He listens to them on an individual basis, and he helps them through whatever problems they may be having at that moment in time.
But, at the end of the day, kids are taking his courses because they value what he can provide them in terms of learning. He can support their learning. (upbeat electronic music) (3D printer whirs) - Touch this edge. Room 212's a little bit different than a regular classroom. The 3D Modeling to Print class is really unique in that you get to do modeling and printing.
I know there's schools that do modeling and I know there's schools that do printing, but it's kind of unique to have a class where you get to take a project from beginning to end. The kids are coming up with their own ideas. They design it in SketchUp, and 3D-print it. (3D printer whirs) The bell rings and I have to tell them no, you gotta leave now, and they're like, but it feels like class just started. - I did not know you could do that. - [Mike] Yeah, then you can just push-pull. - Oh, okay, that makes this so much easier. - [Mike] That way you don't have to do it twice. - Yeah. - I'm a history teacher by trade.
So, this is something that's really different for me. I no longer teach social studies classes, I'm teaching only tech courses. Now when I go home, instead of reading textbooks and biographies, I'm spending time reading Wired magazine. I'm trying to make sure the kids at Hartford High School have cutting-edge stuff happening at a regular basis. (upbeat electronic music) - When Mike started off, he was doing 3D modeling of our historical buildings on Google Earth.
- The whole class was designed around digitizing our town's history. The kids would go out around town, take pictures of buildings, and then come back and create them in SketchUp, and then we could upload those models to Google Earth. - One of the requirements that he had for students was that they find somebody that could talk about that building from a historical perspective, and he embedded those interviews, so you could go to whatever junction, and you could go to a specific building and then you were listening to an interview that was student-driven, of somebody who knew about the history of that building.
- As we went through the years, Google sold SketchUp to Trimble, and we lost that ability to upload buildings to Google Earth. The company itself is still great, and I love using SketchUp and the kids love using it, and I wanted to find some way of keeping Sketchup part of my class, so I emailed a few of my former students, who were at school in college, and saying, you know, what's the next big thing out there? You guys helped me develop my 3D history class, and one of them got back to me and said, "You gotta do 3D printing." (upbeat electronic music) - The district supported his purchase of the computers that are in the room, and 3D printers that are also in the room.
He saw me over the summer and he had a pallet, which is not a traditional high school classroom pallet, so in terms of supporting him, it's been, what do you want to do, and how can I make sure I'm out of your way? - I wanted the space to be welcoming. I want doors open, lights on, bright walls. As I started doing research of innovative tech companies, you see nothing but color. And then, I noticed more and more of them were standing. It shows that the brain has more activity happening when they're standing versus sitting.
Every day, kids come in and they get right to work. So, it's working really well with these students. (upbeat electronic music) - I didn't know what I was getting myself into. I didn't know really that much about technology. And so I came in here, said what the heck, let's try it out, and turns out it's one of my favorite classes right now. - The environment here is awesome, just being around all the technology. It's a little bit of freedom. - I'll give them a topic and then they really get to dictate, okay, I'm gonna choose the color filament that I print it in.
If I want multiple colors, I'm going have to figure it out, so rather than having all the students do the exact same assignment, every single kid in here is really at their own place within the classroom. - When kids have questions about projects that they're developing and designing, Mike is able to direct them personally, suggest that they take a look at this, or take a look at that. - If I start planning it too detailed, then it'll be my project. I'm going to throw some ideas out there, but I really want the students developing the curriculum for the course.
Get in between the two buildings where the two buildings join 'cause there's a little walkway up there. My current students, we want to finish this 3D model of our town, so we're still plugging away at getting all the buildings done. - So basically, what we did is we went downtown to Hartford and we looked at all the historical buildings that we had. We took pictures of every single angle, every single side, so we get every little nook and cranny on there so we can make a precise model. Then we also paced out each side so let's say for the front, I walked from the end of the building to the end of the building, and I take that and approximate how many feet the building is.
- [Mike] How far, Mitch? - 140 paces. - [Mike] 140 paces? - Yep. - So we got all the sides, so we'll go back to the classroom and we'll put it into SketchUp. - Let's finish up the windows on this side. And push in about six inches to a foot. A foot's good, that way it'll print well. (computer mouse clicks) So I think this model's ready to get sent to MakerBot, so why don't you open up the MakerBot desktop, and then we can export that file to print.
(3D printer whirs) (mid-tempo electronic music) (printer beeps) - It's kind of cool to be able to think that you actually make that building. I actually suggested a couple of friends taking this class, 'cause going into the future, technology is going to take a big role in what we're doing, so learning this at such an early age in high school is really important as well as fun. - Mr. Hathorn is a good teacher and he knows what he's doing. - He gets down to his students' level and really communicates with us.
That's part of the reasons why I love this class. - Our best and our brightest, as well as students that perhaps struggle a little bit, or don't like school, are all successful in his classes. (students chatter) - Students today are extremely tech-savvy when it comes to their cell phones. They can pretty much change the world with their phones. But, they're consumers of technology, and I want to have them become creators of technology, so rather than just saying, oh, I've got this new cell phone with all these apps, it's no, I created this cell phone case, I created this amplifier for my phone, so they're changing their viewpoints on where their education's going.
You'll be doing your 3D modeling as they're talking, and maybe that'll be projected, but we can kind of talk about that when we're driving up tomorrow. Are we leaving at 7:15? Does that work for you guys? (upbeat electronic music) Tech Jam's a technology expo where innovative companies from all over come to Burlington, Vermont to kind of showcase what they're doing cool, and they have a STEM portion, so kids can showcase what type of technology they're using in their schools.
(upbeat electronic music) (students chatter) - Have you guys used a 3D printer before? (students chatter) - This is so cool. - Want me to make it? It's like a streaming plastic in the back 'cause it goes to this house up here and it melts it down, and it basically prints it layer by layer by layer and it looks like little plastic. - [Mike] It's neat to see kids coming in and playing with technology. They've got a lot of classes where they use technology, and I like to see them play. The end result is I feel like the kids are, they're learning how to solve difficult problems.
- As time goes on, while it may not be 3D printing, but the concepts that Mike employs working with kids, putting them in charge of a lot of their own learning will be something that they reflect back on as they go through their career. - Every time I think I've gotten to a point where I'm kind of, all right, I'm gonna settle in for a while, it seems like, either the students, or my own ambition changes the route that I was going. I don't always know where I'm going, but I always feel like if you look at what's best for the kids, then you're going to end up somewhere down the right road.
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