Our FabSlam team, going to the Idaho Exhibition of Ideas in November 2019, has been selected.
The 5th graders are:
Kaitlyn Sands, Sye Bowler, Garret Black, Tanner Hamilton, Madilyn Perez, Logan Switzer, and Maia Carey.
Team coaches are librarian, Cheryl Fife and IT professional, Paul Fife.
Mentors are FabSlam veterans DJ Wagnon and Aaron Witt.
Our team this year is not as experienced as our last two years' teams. Only two members on the current team have 3D printed before. So for our first couple of weeks, we learned about 3D printing, the process, the design, current applications, ability and limitations of our 3D printers, and the software necessary Tinkercad and Flashprint.
The next week was spent researching the needs of blind students, talking to professionals who work with students with disabilites, and complying a list of possible projects. We all agreed that we wanted to make something hands on similar to MakerSpace projects that sighted students participate in. We came up with blocks with pictures, letters, and braille, Dominoes with braille, dice with braille, Legos pieces with braille, and a braille labeled robot. All of these ideas had issues; they were already invented, had copyrights, or were too difficult to finish in our limited time frame.
Our final agreed upon project is a combination of hands-on MakerSpace building with language which can be expanded as far as a student or teacher wishes to go. It could be used not only by a kindergartener learning braille, but also by an intermediate student, learning sentence structure or an advanced student, writing stories.
This week we designed our team's t-shirts, started our backdrop display board, and praticed our oral presentation. We also decided on a team name, the Pepper Ridge PAWS, which stands for printing awesome world-changing solutions. And finally, we decided on the name of our project. It is called Braille Builders. They are small tiles with braille letters on them which can be put on a stand to create words. We are also going to make tiles with words on them to create sentences and phrases on tiles to create stories. The hardest design portion of our project is the stand. There have been lots of fails.
The week of October 20th, we had a visit from Susan and Erin, two teachers of visual impaired students in Idaho. They were amazing and full of information and advice for us and our project. We also discuss our project with a Resource Aide who came and watched us work.
During the last week of October, we worked on our presentation as well as our TinkerCad stl files. We started printing the files after changing them to a gf file. So far they're working out great!
The plate is next....
We are on our way; Printing the finals; working on learning braille; finishing touches on our tiles, presentation and backboard.
The Idaho Exhibition is a week away! Print 3D printer PRINT!!! Our presentation is ready. Practice, practice, practice! Learning how to answer questions. Here we go!