An Educational CAD Model Library (CAD Library) is being developed by collaborating educational associations affiliated with the National Technology Leadership Summit coalition. The CAD Library’s Curators’ Council has developed descriptive metadata fields that will be associated with each educational object published in the library. These fields are designed to facilitate search and discovery of objects by teachers who are increasingly well positioned to use these objects in their instruction due to the increasing presence of school-based makerspaces and the 3D printers, digital die cutters, and other fabrication tools. The publication of these metadata standards makes them available to the members of the educational associations participating in the development of the CAD Library and to other relevant stakeholders for feedback to inform ongoing revisions.
During the past decade, many K-12 schools have established makerspaces with 3D printers, digital die cutters, and other fabrication tools. An open-source ecosystem is being developed to facilitate effective use of educational makerspaces. This work is being undertaken under the auspices of the National Technology Leadership Summit coalition, which includes national teacher educator associations in science education (ASTE), educational technology (SITE), engineering education (ITEEA), and mathematics education (AMTE), and the Fab Foundation – a network of more than 2,500 Fabrication Laboratories (Fab Labs). This effort is supported by a National Science Foundation Pathways to Open-Source Ecosystems Phase I planning grant (NSF No. 2229627).
Access to maker technologies has catalyzed and amplified the possibilities for creating physical materials that are responsive to the needs of students. Opportunities for design and fabrication of original mathematics manipulatives have been incorporated into the teacher education program at Montclair State University. Participating preservice elementary teachers design and make original mathematics manipulatives. Three case studies examine ways in which this process enhances students’ mathematical reasoning, sense-making, and understanding. The designs created are made available through links to the open source Educational CAD Model Repository, enabling others to replicate the objects described.
This paper describes use of a linear motor as a starting point for introducing related electricity and magnetism concepts. The Linear Motor Laboratory consists of a series of mechanisms and student learning activities centered around a reconstruction of the Charles Page Electromagnetic Engine patented in 1854. This work was undertaken in the Make to Learn Laboratory at the University of Virginia in consultation with the curators at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. The original patent model in the collections of the Smithsonian Institution was used as a reference for modern-day reconstructions. Instructions for fabrication of a linear motor and associated Computer-Assisted Design (CAD) files are available in the Educational CAD Model Repository.
Since the advent of affordable fabrication technologies such as 3D printers, many schools have established maker spaces. The educational effectiveness of fabrication tools in K-12 maker spaces is facilitated by access to useful Computer-Assisted Design (CAD) models and associated instructional supports. The launch of Educational Fabrication & Design provides a site for peer review and publication of CAD models designed for K-12 education. Upon acceptance, articles will be published with a link to a corresponding model in an educational CAD Model Repository.