My second semester teaching 3D printing: Grit, Effort & Growth Mindset

After attending the Future Schools Expo in 2015,  Gary Stager changed my approach to teaching 3D printing. So when semester 2 started, instead of me teaching  3D printing I planned my lessons to work with the students. We experimented as engineers. We asked questions, trialed, tested, took detailed notes, saw failure as the next step, to evaluate and build upon our shared knowledge.

From the beginning our 3D lessons had an innovative atmosphere: we were  engineers who drew ideas, created, tested, worked in teams and took precise notes to analyse our 3D models.

 Grit & Not Yet

The learning context,  being engineers and the role of testing designs, allowed us to produce 3D objects knowing that failure was only a step that would be documented as it would lead to new ideas and innovation. As Angela Duckworth explains in this Ted Talk.

Solution Fluency

To structure the design tasks I used the 6 steps of  Lee Crockett’s Solution Fluency which students used as headings for their iBook. Here is an example of a student’s documentation of her design process.

How did I measure success?

The atmosphere of discovery, an inquiry into how things work and the acceptance of “not yet” allowed me to use the student’s documentation and reflection to measure learning outcomes.

A Growth Mindset- Carol Dweck

The key to instilling a growth mindset is teaching kids that their brains are like muscles that can be strengthened through hard work and persistence. So rather than saying “Not everybody is a good at math. Just do your best,” a teacher or parent should say “When you learn how to do a new math problem, it grows your brain.” Or instead of saying “Maybe math is not one of your strengths,” a better approach is adding “yet” to the end of the sentence: “Maybe math is not one of your strengths yet.”

Quoted from QUARTZ by Jenny Anderson

Focus for 2016: Innovation

For my next semester in 3D printing I want to explore the concept of innovation. As Elizabeth Webster wrote,

Innovation means changing the way you do things…(Australia needs to) create an environment that mitigates the risks of innovation and allows it to flourish…To understand why innovation is important, it’s helpful to think of a world without it.

The Conversation

Linking  innovation to entrepreneurship

As his business continues to expand, Max remains committed to supporting kids like him and contributes 5% his profits to charities and non-profits that educate the public about dyslexia and empower dyslexic children to unlock their true potential. To learn more about MAX’IS Creations, check out, and watch the video below to learn how Max communicated and brought his idea to life using 3D printing.


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