Students in the Florida (N.Y.) Union Free School District can make a pancake breakfast for their technology teacher, Jeffrey Rodman ’13 M’14.
But first they have to design it.
The district has a PancakeBot, which uses 3D printer technology to build 3D models using—yes, pancake batter—as the modeling material.
“My seniors come in and design what we’re going to eat,” said Rodman, who is spearheading a district effort to have students design and build actual 3D printers on CNC machines.
Rodman was among more than 100 technology educators who packed a session on 3D printer classroom applications, presented by Professor Donna Matteson ’83 M’88 with students Jonathan Russo ’16 and Rachel Edic ’16. The session was part of the SUNY Oswego Department of Technology’s 76th Fall Conference Oct. 29-30, which drew more than 500 education professionals to more than 50 programs and commercial exhibitions showcasing the latest for the classroom and laboratory.
Presenters at the 3D printing session offered tips for the introduction of 3D printing into middle and high school classrooms, as well as showing the capabilities of printers at SUNY Oswego, including the Makerbot Replicator 2 in the Penfield Library, which is available for public printing. Participants were shown examples of items created with both the Makerbot and printers in the technology lab: a duck’s head, a knife, a lion’s head and architectural home models, to name a few. They also learned about the processes used to create, digitize and print in 3D.“This is an amazing technology that’s growing and constantly changing,” Matteson said. “It’s also coming to the point of higher affordability and quality, to meet classroom needs.”
Other sessions that drew participants to the two-day conference included a number of robotics projects, including the student-built SeaPerch underwater remotely operated vehicles presented by Niskayuna (N.Y.) Central School District technology educators Michael Petrone Jr. ’11 M’13 and Tom Blechinger M’86, iron casting using computers, using hockey to teach STEM concepts, graphic media, high altitude ballooning and much more.