The Boston Children’s Museum: the place to be to test new tools
On Sunday, May 8, 2022, our partner BlocksCAD, a web-based 3D modeling tool company, was invited to participate in Boston Children’s Museum’s “Tech Kitchen”. Through this program, the museum hosted “everyone from entrepreneurs to established tech companies as they prototype, experiment, and test their newest tools and gadgets”. The Boston Children’s Museum Tech Kitchen is a new innovative place to meet inventors, innovators, and high-tech makers as they showcase their latest fun Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (STEM/STEAM) applications.
Jonah, BlocksCAD Instructor and high school STEM educator in Boston, was there to present two sessions on 3D modeling and design with SOLIDWORKS Apps for Kids. The sessions were conducted in a cutting-edge makerspace classroom at the Boston Children’s Museum. Jonah has spent the past five years teaching geometry, algebra, and biochemistry, as well as developing STEM curriculum using the 3D design software BlocksCAD. For the past two years, SOLIDWORKS Apps for Kids and BlocksCAD have established a partnership to bring an introduction to coding and design to children.
24 children attended the 3D modeling workshops with their parents. The children ranged in age from 6 to 12 years old. They were all extremely excited to explore the software and learn how to do 3D modeling!
3D Modeling discovery workshop
During the workshop sessions, children could learn how to create, design, style and make amazing 3D shapes with SOLIDWORKS Apps for Kids and BlocksCAD. When working with Jonah, students had the opportunity to manipulate simple 3D shapes like cubes and spheres to create unique designs inspired by their imagination. Some of the children created animals or fantasy creatures, while others designed automobiles or rocket ships. They could make their creations tall or short, change the colors, or apply stickers.
The children could share their creations with other learners during the session, as well as their parents. The children were given the opportunity (with their parent’s permission) to create accounts on the official Apps for Kids and BlocksCAD websites to continue their designing experience at home. Over the span of just 50 minutes worth of dynamic innovation, students were creating, building, learning, and having lots of fun! Some of the children enjoyed the session so much that they wanted to have their models brought to life by being 3D printed either at home or school.
Developing new skills
Students participating in the 50-minute Tech Kitchen workshop are now more prepared to better apply their visual-learning skills towards increasing their comprehension of math and STEM concepts! During the session, students gained exposure to geometric and algebraic concepts, including terms like “radius” and “height”, and navigating the XYZ coordinate plane. Since these learners have been introduced to coding and computational thinking at a young age, they will be more adept at grasping more advanced software in middle school and high school. And, it can help students potentially gain a passion for all things STEM!
This summer, Jonah will be attending Harvard’s Graduate School of Education as part of the Learning Design, Innovation, and Technology program, designing experiences that inspire and equip students to work on the world’s most pressing problems.
The BlocksCAD team, with the support of SOLIDWORKS, hopes to have more sessions over the summer and into the next school year.
The BlocksCAD tool was designed to make programming and design more accessible for children. BlocksCAD helps students as young as eight foster a deeper understanding of computer science and math through a visual, artistic design process. To learn more about the projects you can do at home, visit BlocksCAD’s self-paced introductory learning resources page on Teachable.
For additional learning resources that can be accessed at home, check out the extensive array of hybrid lessons covering BlocksCAD and Apps for Kids content.Back to Blog