Students were chomping at the bit to see exactly what the Carvey CNC machine could do. Sure they knew they were making bird feeder signs that would go on the roof, but they weren’t sure exactly how the machine actually did it.
A demo was called for! But this is actually good teaching practice too, because students can be expected to know how to design something for a machine that they’ve never seen work. A demonstration could be thought of as a type of tinkering where students can look closely at what is happening in order to give insights into what new creation possibilities this tool has opened up. Further, watching the digital modeling process also provides guidance to the students in terms of seeing how they are going to actually execute the actions necessary to make the final product they are imagining become real.
For this class, we made a quick sign for their teacher on Easel, and then started it up. I’m not sure if any of them blinked at all during the carving process :-)
Gasps and “ooos!” and “aahhhs!, along with “Awesome!” and “Cool!” were constantly in the air. Even when the kids decided to use the Carvey box for some imagination exercises, their minds were filling up with possibilities :-)
This set the stage for the following day when we had some completed signs made, and could load the Carvey with the boards that would eventually become the rooftops. When that first sign came out, everyone that wasn’t quite finished focused their energies even more to make sure they could get into the fabrication queue!
Some social media associated with this #MakerEd moment…
— James Tiffin Jr. (@JimTiffinJr) April 20, 2016
— James Tiffin Jr. (@JimTiffinJr) April 22, 2016