STEAM projects

Two Classroom STEAM Projects That Use 3D Scanning

By Matter and Form on January 23rd, 2020

The STEAM movement is a new way to incorporate science, technology, engineering, arts and math into an integrated subject that prioritizes hands-on learning, complex problem solving, trial and error and real-world applications of knowledge. STEAM combines these once siloed subjects into a cutting-edge curriculum that will help students learn and succeed in the world as it exists today and that will prepare them for new challenges.

And while STEM and STEAM movements are gaining momentum, it’s difficult for many educators to find practical ways to implement these pedagogies into the classroom when the current education system remains largely stagnant. That’s where Matter and Form comes in.

We’ve created different STEAM lesson plans that help teachers and educators solve STEAM in their classrooms. Our standards-aligned, step-by-step projects provide guided access to the real 3D tools used every day in dozens of modern professions.

Read on to learn about two of our many classroom-ready STEAM projects that you can try out in your classrooms today.

Matter and Form STEAM Projects and Lesson Plans

Each of our lesson plans was created with a specific purpose in mind. Whether it’s building technological literacy skills, or teaching students how to use creativity as a way to innovate, our lesson plans are unique, informative and empower students to learn, practice and master skills inherent in the 3D design process.

Matter and Form STEAM projects are designed for a wide range of age groups. Plus, each lesson plan is adaptable based on the skillset of your students and their prior experience with 3D scanning. This way, advanced students can plan more intricate designs that require higher attention to detail. Conversely, novice students can stick with more basic designs until they are ready to progress to the next level.

You can purchase our STEAM projects and lesson plans as add-ons to our V2 3D scanner. The 3D Education Package includes the projects, a two-year extended warranty and priority email educational support.

STEAM Project #1: The Key Chain

Ideal for Grades 6-8

What is it?

In our Key Chain Lesson Plan students explore the properties of metals and nonmetals, along with critical design elements to craft a usable key chain. This lesson plan integrates science, engineering, and technology so they can create a key chain design of their choosing.

What are the Goals?

Students will:

  1. Identify metals and nonmetals by using their properties.
  2. Critique competing designs to determine optimal traits in prototypes.
  3. Apply technical skills to design and refine a prototype.
  4. Interact with technical writing and use text evidence.
STEAM projects

3D Scanning Process with the Key Chain Lesson Plan:

  1. Students place any object of preference to turn into a key chain on the Matter and Form 3D Scanner.
  2. They then use MFStudio software to ensure proper laser detection, good lighting and that the object has been properly scanned on all sides.
  3. MFStudio meshes their various scans together in preparation for export.
  4. Using Tinkercad, students must adjust and scale the object so that it will fit in a pocket.
  5. Students then need to add an attachment point to the object from where the ring will pass through to act as a key chain.
  6. Following the modification process, students then 3D print the object, analyze and test its functionality.
  7. If their prototype doesn’t work, students are able to repeat the design process until their creation solves the problem at hand.

How Does this 3D Scanning Activity Solve STEAM?

3D scanning is the real-world embodiment of STEAM. A 3D scanner is a measurement tool: it measures an object and creates a 3D model. That said, it’s also a design and art tool, used to combine different objects together, create new things, and make printable objects. These qualities are fully explored in our STEAM projects. Ultimately, they give step-by-step instructions to follow the whole process of idea, scan, modify, print, test and iterate, in different subject contexts.

This particular lesson plan solves STEAM by teaching students the difference between metals and nonmetals and which will be a more effective use for a key chain and combines practices of measurement, balance and scaling within an aesthetic design context. These STEAM skills combine in a fun, engaging, hands-on way that students will remember.

STEAM Project #2: The Russian Nesting Doll

Ideal For Grades 6-12

What is it?

In this project, students will learn about Russian nesting dolls, also known as Matryoshka dolls. Students will research and explore the traditional construction of the nesting dolls and create their own using 3D scanning, modelling and printing. This lesson plan encourages students to use statues, figures or ideas to create a historical timeline of people or things. In this case, the most recent figure contains within itself each of the ones who came before.

What are the goals?

Students will:

  1. Describe the traditional construction of nesting dolls.
  2. Consider technical and design parameters, including measurements when creating a nesting doll prototype.
  3. Apply technical knowledge to analyze designs prior to printing.
  4. Evaluate the work of others, and state utility of prototypes.
STEAM Projects

The 3D Scanning Process With the Russian Nesting Doll Lesson Plan:

  1. Students scan each object they want to use for their Russian Nesting Doll using the Matter and Form 3D Scanner.
  2. Using MFStudio Software students ensure proper laser detection, good lighting, and that each object was scanned on all sides.
  3. MFStudio then meshes the various scans together and prepares for export.
  4. Next, using Tinkercad, students hollow out, duplicate and scale all the objects to be able to fit inside one another to create the nesting doll.
  5. Then students cut the objects in half horizontally and print each object separately.
  6. The project is now ready for testing and iterating if needed.

How Does this 3D Scanning Activity Solve STEAM?

Our Russian Nesting Doll lesson plan solves STEAM by giving students the opportunity to explore a traditional construction of an object and how it can be modernized in a new and innovative context. This lesson plan was designed to teach students about the historical significance, construction process, and design parameters of a timeless wooden stacking doll in a hands-on, creative and fun way.

Learn More About Matter and Form STEAM Projects and 3D Scanning

We founded Matter and Form on the principles of multidisciplinary creative thinking modelled in STEAM. As a result, our 3D scanners and projects combine art and design thinking with tools of measurement. Designed with student users in mind, the Matter and Form 3D scanner and STEAM projects are fun, meaningful, flexible, standards-aligned and hands-on. Students use our projects to design, modify, print and iterate to create prototypes. Consequently, they learn to solve problems, use trial and error and develop problem-solving skills.

The 3D Scanning Process Can:

  • Engrain the value of trial and error, problem-solving and iterative testing to develop confidence
  • Help students understand how to harness their creativity and innovate using technology
  • Teach students how design affects the function of an object
  • Help to build technological literacy and understanding
  • Build hands-on technical skills