Best 3D Printing Project – Finalist: Andy Wilson, Makey Makey Prototype 3D-Printed Game Controller


Name: Andy Wilson

School: Ponsonby Intermediate, Auckland. 

3D Printing Project: Makey Makey Prototype 3D-Printed Game Controller


Describe the 3D printing project that you want to be considered for the award?

Students design game controllers (in TinkerCad) that will work with the Scratch games that they have made (attached to Makey Makey). They then present their 3D printed prototypes, discussing their successes and F.A.I.Ls (First Attempt In Learning) that they have experienced in a Shark Tank presentation to myself and two peers.

Why did you choose to use this activity?

I’ve been studying the Postgraduate Certificate in Applied Practice (Digital & Collaborative Learning) at The Mindlab by Unitec and I’ve been able to use ideas from this course. My Year 7 Unit Plan consists of creating games in Scratch. I wanted a natural evolution of this learning for my Year 8 classes and added TinkerCad to create the controller and Makey Makey to control their games.

How did you implement and use it?

In my class I have 2 Fuji Xerox Cube Pro Duo 3D printers. I start the learning process by letting students familiarise themselves with TinkerCad through creating 3D ice creams (in order to emphasise the 3D depth by looking at the different views). I then get the students to create a key-tag which I print off for them. We reflect on the process before the students begin to design their prototype game controller.

What outcomes has it achieved for you and your class?

Students are highly passionate and engaged in their learning. They are able to create a controller that will allow them to play games of their own creation. Presenting their creations in a Shark Tank environment also provides them with the ability to clearly articulate their own learning. It is also great to see the confidence in their products when they present. I encourage the students to talk about the design F.A.I.L.s (First Attempt In Learning) as this is part of their grade. Ultimately, this activity enables students to be creative problem-solvers who are confident and capable using various digital tools, a necessary skill in the constantly evolving digital society we live in.

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