A junior boarding and day school for boys in grades six, seven, eight, and nine

Design Thinking Technology at Eaglebrook

In late August, Eaglebrook’s first ever 3D printer was delivered to campus. The school invested in the MakerBot Replicator +. The model came with ten colors, which students are able to choose from when printing their designs. In recent years, schools have shifted their curriculum to incorporate more design thinking that supports innovation and collaboration. Christa Lakey, Director of Technology Integration & Innovation who teaches “EBS Design Lab & Solution” in the fall and spring has facilitated the use of the 3D printer. Currently, the 3D printer is only used in her design lab class. However, when time allows Mrs. Lakey will begin training faculty and students. This would allow for students to create their own projects on weekends.

Mrs. Lakey’s design class and use of the 3D printer allows students to act as engineers and designers. Students are able to create complex designs and models that can be turned into physical models in a matter of hours. Mrs. Lakey mentioned the 3D printer lets students “think about the engineering design process and what it takes to think through a project.” She goes on to suggest, “an idea and vision can become reality.” Additionally, the 3D printer allows students to expand their global understanding of engineering.
To date, Mrs. Lakey’s students have created personalized key chains and are currently making individualized marble mazes. Next, they will build brush robots. This project will give them an understanding of circuitry and how to make their brush robot function with an LED light and battery. Later in the trimester, Mrs. Lakey will teach the students how to do basic coding. Lastly, they will be able design an independent project. Each project is designed in TINKERCAD and then sent to the MakerBot Replicator + for printing.

For Eaglebrook, the investment of the 3D printer is just the beginning. More innovation and idea-oriented technology will get incorporated over the next few years. Mrs. Lakey envisions the 3D printer being used across academic departments once the faculty is trained. Furthermore, a Crane 3D Printer Series device is set to be delivered in the next few weeks. The Crane 3D Printer is able to print in two different colors at one time unlike the MakerBot, which is only able to print in one color. In the future, Mrs. Lakey would love to add more innovative equipment including a larger CNC router, which is a computer controlled cutting machine that is able to cut wood among other materials. Mrs. Lakey would also love to add a laser cutter, while continuing to build the material library. Mrs. Lakey said, “the idea of the developing a maker space is very daunting but definitely exciting.”