Posted by CHERYL FIFE on 2/12/2019

    We have a new 5th grade FabSlam 3-D printing team this year. 

    The students accepted are:

    Sarah Johnson

    Grant Mangan

    Paige Kreizenbeck

    Sasha Redetzki

    Kelsi Talley

    and Weston Walker. 


    Mentors are Cheryl and Paul Fife and DJ Wagnon (a 6th grader from last year's team)


    FabSlam 2019 is March 9th at the West Ada School District Office. 

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  • December/January natural resource research

    Posted by CHERYL FIFE on 2/1/2019

      Starting in December and going through January, our team researched the defination of a natural resource and made a massive list of possible natural resources we could use for our project.  This included everything from wind energy to kid energy. 

      We settled on solar energy and then started working on ideas for our project.  Our team is very creative and ideas were flying from the very start.  We had to constantly bring our team back to reality and what we were able to make with a 3d printer in the time allowed. 

      In the end, the team found a common interest in birds, and the idea of a solar powered birdhouse came to be.  The name came next.  "A chirp off the old block."

      We met several times with our mentor, Paul Fife, who works for Idaho Power.  He gave us lots of good information about solar power and its positive attributes and limitations. 



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team learning about solar power from Idaho Power employee Paul Fife
team working on their 3-D prototype
team learning about solar power from Idaho Power employee Paul Fife
  • Our idea is coming to life

    Posted by CHERYL FIFE on 2/7/2019

      After many different designs, our birdhouse finally came to life, and we 3-D printed our first prototype.  Problems with our new printer slowed us down a bit.  But after lots of trial and error, we figured out the the heat settings on our printer needed to be change because of the filament type we were using.  

      Next, we talked to bird experts about which birds were here in Idaho as well as requirements for their birdhouses. With this information, we decided that our current design would not work as it was too complicated and could actually harm the birds in the process.  So we pared it down and changed from a solar powered heating system to a solar powered cooling system. 

      Once our design was finalize, we started the 3D printing process with several changes to make sure our house was just the right size and dimensions for our chosen bird, the chickadee. We added the roof as a separate piece so that we could hinge it and open the house to clean it out after each season.  We also added a overhang to protect the entrance and added a vent for air circulation. We tried adding drainage holes in the bottom, but after several failed tries, we decided to drill the holes out after the final project had been finished. 

      We met with Paul again to talk about a cooling system for our "chirp off the old block." He suggested two different systems one with a simple fan run by solar power and one using a thermoelectric module run by a solar panel.  We researched each and made the decision to use the simple fan.  

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fabslam team in team building activities
our prototypes
  • Presentation, Poster and Power Point

    Posted by CHERYL FIFE on 2/5/2019

       We are getting down to the final weeks.  The team started preparing their presentation and practiced their lines.  They also created their power point and poster for the showcase. 

       Next week, the team will assemble their solar birdhouse and perform their presentation in front of their teachers and principal.  

       They also made the decision to mount their birdhouse on a piece of old fence rather than a plan pole.  Should be a fun looking project!!


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  • Our Big Day Is Here

    Posted by CHERYL FIFE on 3/7/2019

    This is our last meeting day.  Fabslam 2019 is just two days away.  The team is so excited to present their project.  

    Today we are comtinuing to practice our presentation.  We are finishing the install of our birdhouse on the fence, and we are practicing potential questions that the judges may ask us. 

    Go 3DP's!!!!

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fabslam pic
fabslam pic2

    Posted by CHERYL FIFE on 3/9/2019

    The 3DP's team from Pepper Ridge Elementary won 3rd place in the FabSlam Showcae 2019. 


    Beating only by two high school teams. 


    So proud of them!!! 


    Check out the video at KIVI chanel 6. 



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final product
final product2
final product3