Implementation of “3D Printers at War Against COVID-19” (SOI-TR-284)

Author: Dr. Selçuk Yusuf Arslan, Teacher/Head of ICT Department

School/Organization: Atatürk Mesleki ve Teknik Anadolu Lİsesi

Technology is undoubtedly a tool that makes our lives easier. The 3D Printers at War Against COVID-19 scenario also uses 3D printers to make face masks during the pandemic period. When I saw this scenario, I wondered how I could adapt this scenario. Türkiye experienced one of the biggest earthquakes in history on February 6, 2023. My students and I thought we could make an earthquake whistle instead of a face mask in this scenario. We implemented the script in the same way. Students made different whistle designs and 3D printed them and added them to their earthquake bags. The scenario implemented with 14 students turned into a fun learning experience for the students as well. As a result of the students’ 3D design skills, the lesson was completed in 80 minutes.

The implementation context

From the COVID era to the EARTHQUAKE disaster

I selected all the topics included in the learning scenario. The learning scenario focused on how we can benefit from 3D printers in the era of covid 19. I believe we have left behind the days of Covid. Turkey faced one of the biggest earthquakes in history on February 6, 2023. I changed the learning scenario to earthquake instead of covid 19. In the earthquake, it became clear that many families did not have emergency bags. In this scenario, a face mask was made with 3D printers. We decided to make whistles for earthquake bags using 3D printers. Implementation was face to face and 14 students participated. The students knew how to design in 3D with Tinkercad. Therefore, we did not experience serious difficulties. Since the students are students of the information technology department, their technology literacy is high. They easily used Europeana resources.

The narrative

Theme change in learning scenario

I can say that I fit the structure in the learning scenario. This learning scenario has been prepared for the use of 3d printers in the production of face masks during the covid 19 period. 3d printers are used in many different areas today. I also wanted to find a solution to a current problem. On February 6, 2023, Türkiye faced one of the biggest earthquakes in history. It lost more than 50 thousand of its citizens. When I scanned the news in the national press, I thought that the shortage of emergency bags was a serious problem. When I shared this with my students, we decided to make an earthquake whistle, which is one of the items that should be in the emergency bag. The learning scenario in terms of duration was 135 minutes. My students’ knowledge of Tinkercad shortened this time and we finished the application in 80 minutes. However, 135 minutes (or even more) is ideal for groups with limited 3D design skills.

In summary, this is how I proceeded. In the first stage, I made an introduction to the course. Then I explained the Europeana resources to the students. Students did research on whistles. In the next step, they encountered the whistles of the past and the present and we discussed it in class.

Then we talked about the use of 3D printers. Students prepared their own unique earthquake whistle designs. This episode was shorter than the script. Then, we randomly selected 2 students and started to print out their designs. At the end of the lesson, the printouts were ready and they made their first experiments in the classroom. In this section, different from the scenario, the students made the design they wanted. Students were not given a ready-made design. In this respect, we went one step beyond the scenario.

While applying this learning scenario, two of my teacher friends who came to my school from Serbia for job shadowing also made observations. I also contacted my friend who teaches the Computer Design Applications course. I learned whether students have competencies in 3D design.

Learning outcomes

Putting technology to work for social good

The learning outcome resulting from the implementation of this scenario is the earthquake whistles designed by the students. The students wanted to design a whistle to make the voices of the individuals trapped under the earthquake be heard. They designed the whistle that gave the most sound among the whistles they designed. They did a good internet search for this. At the end of the lesson, the students stated that they did something useful and that they were happy to produce with technology. This learning scenario was prepared for a solution to a current problem like the pandemic. So I tried to solve a problem in my country. This scenario can easily be adapted to other current problems. My colleagues can easily adapt this scenario to many lessons. Just before the lesson, increasing the 3d design skills of the students produces more positive results.

Outcomes for the educator

Importance of keywords

I have been using Teaching with Europeana resources in my classes for a long time. The resources are very rich and we can easily reach many of the resources we are looking for. My students also enjoy using these resources. They even started using it in other courses that my colleagues started asking me about Europeana. My advice to my fellow teachers who will use these resources is to filter and search with keywords. Otherwise, they can get lost in this large database. While implementing this scenario, my students researched past whistles and got interesting results. They realized that in the past whistles were made of different metals and wood, but nowadays they are used more plastic. The resources they found helped them understand the history of the whistles.

In this course, I helped my colleague who teaches Computer Design Applications. In this way, we were able to adopt an interdisciplinary approach. Students like different course designs and this way I can motivate them more easily. I think it is very beneficial for them, especially to allow them to progress at their own pace. In addition, adding culture and art to STEM courses will bring different perspectives for those who will choose a STEM career in the future.

Did you find this story of implementation interesting? Why don’t you read about the related learning scenario? The 3D Printers at WAR against COVID-19(LS-PL-326) created by Marcin Jabłoński.

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CC BY 3.0: the featured image used to illustrate this article has been found on Europeana and has been provided by the Museon.

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