3-D printing a ‘big hit’ at RJK
MONTICELLO, NY — If you take a walk through the hallways of the Robert J. Kaiser Middle School (RJK) at any time of the day, or even in the middle …
MONTICELLO, NY — If you take a walk through the hallways of the Robert J. Kaiser Middle School (RJK) at any time of the day, or even in the middle of the night, you’ll likely hear a humming sound coming from the direction of the school’s technology room. In the simplest terms, it’s the whirr of the school’s 3-D printer. But in more abstract terms, it’s the sound of William Oefelein’s ingenuity in finding a unique way to keep students near and far engaged in hands-on learning during an unusual year.
Mr. Oefelein, a seventh-grade technology teacher at RJK, has been giving students a real-life foray into the manufacturing process using the Makers Empire computer program. The program teaches students 3-D dimensional design using a series of challenges that allow their skills to progress; the program is accessible on the students’ devices, so they’re able to design wherever they’re learning. Once the student has finished their design, they send it to Mr. Oefelein, who uses the computer program Catalyst to send the design to the school’s 3D printer. The printer then brings the student’s design to life. Once printed, the models are put in a bath to cool and cure, and then Mr. Oefelein sorts and packages them to be delivered to the students learning in-person, or to prepare them for pickup by students learning remotely.
It takes about 60 hours to print out eight projects eand the machines are constantly running to keep up with the demand. At any given moment, Mr. Oefelein has as many as 100 items bagged and waiting to be dropped off to or claimed by their creators.
These projects have been a huge success among the students, who have been creating keychains, bag tags, monsters and, most recently, “feelings dice.” The feelings dice feature emojis instead of numerical dots and help reinforce the social emotional wellness curriculum that students are already learning through the school’s “mood meter.” The projects also add an English Language Arts component in which students are asked to write about their thought process in designing their models, outline the tools they used and the steps they took to complete the project.
According to Mr. Oefelein, it’s a big hit among the students.
HONESDALE, PA — Second-grade Wayne Highlands student Luka Brdar, 8, of Honesdale successfully caught a leprechaun on St. Patrick’s Day using a leprechaun trap of his own design. Brdar created the trap using recycled material from around the house, a hand-drawn colored picture of a rainbow and a chocolate-covered coin in golden foil for bait. He left the trap out overnight and was surprised to find a leprechaun trapped in his rainbow artwork the next morning. “I knew this would work,” Brdar said.
Brdar has been building leprechaun traps on St. Patrick’s Day for several years but had never before been successful in catching a leprechaun. He is planning to release his leprechaun by tying the picture to a balloon and releasing it after the next rainstorm to find a real rainbow.
MONTICELLO, NY — Sullivan County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Barrett came to the George L. Cooke School to teach Joana Dutcher and Dana Post’s first-grade virtual learners about stranger danger, chemicals in the home, calling 911 and many other ways to stay safe.
They set up a computer station for Barrett to be able to come into the class to teach the students. This is the younger component to the DARE program. The students really enjoyed the activity. Just like any other class, there was homework. The students were asked to learn their home addresses and phone numbers. Many parents reached out to the teachers to thank them for having Barrett come and teach this curriculum.
The teachers wrote in a press release, “We thank deputy Barrett for coming in to teach our students about the many ways we can help keep ourselves, and our communities, safe.”