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Sunday, October 7 • 10:00am - 10:40am
How a high school design project ended up becoming an online business

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Hear about the process my 9th – 12th grade students and I went through in transforming a 3D modeling/printing class project into a social entrepreneur project and finally into a business. It was not a straight-forward process and included failures and missteps, but we were able to implement our Incredible Backpack Hook solution in our science and design classrooms to make them safer and more fun. Then we took it a step further and started selling our hooks online. This authentic 3D design project that led to an entrepreneurial opportunity was a wonderful learning experience for me and my design students, and I think that other schools and teachers could benefit from adopting such an approach. Learn how we setup our 3D printing system to make it easier for the students to use them as prototyping machines, which was essential if we were going to iterate our way to successful products for the marketplace. Hear about the lessons we learned about using an outside 3D printing manufacturer. Also learn about how we used Autodesk Fusion 360, TinkerCAD, Meshmixer and OpenSCAD.

My students learned so much more by adding the entrepreneurial aspect of the project. It gave it meaning and the realistic standards pushed them to work harder, be more persistent, be more demanding of themselves and increased their motivation. But I don’t think any of this would have been possible without our 3D printer solution in our makerspace.

Finally, our project took advantage of our new Spark Tank Entrepreneurial Program at the Dwight School that offers guidance, funding and expertise to K-12 students who want to develop their own idea, service, organization or business. The students presented their ideas to the Spark Tank judges and walked away with $4,000 in funding which was essential for us to move forward. As a result of their participation in the Incredible Backpack Hook project, the seniors also received college scholarships from the Dwight Innovation Foundation.

avatar for Steve Farnsworth

Steve Farnsworth

MakerED Teacher, Avenues: The World School
Steve Farnsworth. Middle school and high school teacher of many years in MakerEd, technology, design, robotics, design technology, 3D modeling and 3D printing. Longtime Logo Institute workshop leader in robotics, programming and physical computing. Middle school and high school MakerEd... Read More →

Sunday October 7, 2018 10:00am - 10:40am EDT
Conference Room Four