Recently, MakerBot® and its Thingiverse® website, a 3D design community for discovering, 3D printing and sharing 3D models, held a Thingiverse Math Manipulative Challenge in conjunction with the launch of the MakerBot Academy education initiative to put a MakerBot Replicator Desktop 3D Printer in every school in the United States. The Thingiverse Math Manipulative Challenge was held for the Thingiverse community to get involved with MakerBot’s education initiative and design fun and useful 3D prints that teachers could create with their new MakerBot® Replicator® 2 Desktop 3D Printer immediately upon its arrival in the classroom.
The response to the Thingiverse Challenge included more than 160 entries that were very creative and ranged from shapes and gears to counting beads and fraction tiles. Three winners were selected and will receive MakerBot PLA Filament, Thingiverse t-shirts, and will have their creations featured on Thingiverse and in each of the MakerBot retail stores, located in New York, Boston and Greenwich, Conn. The First Place winner will also receive a MakerBot Academy bundle, which includes a MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer, three spools of MakerBot PLA Filament, and MakerCare, a service and support program, to donate to his/her classroom of choice.
The winners include:
First Place: Seesaw Maths by Gyrobot
Great for teaching addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division, the beam on Seesaw Maths indicates a correct answer when it’s level. 549
Second Place: Math Gear(s) by SSW
This Math manipulative is designed to appear playful from the first look. It lies flat on desktop, so it will also work well with overhead projection systems. Behind the mechanical fun there are several simple ratio exercises. The Math Gear was designed with a seven tooth “Idler” gear to add reverse rotation without affecting the ratios. Each interchangeable gear has built-in graphics to indicate the number of teeth as well as rotation position. Rubber bands provide tension to keep the wheels engaged no matter what the combination.
Third Place: Math Spinner Toy by christinachun
This simple tool allows students to mix and match numbers to build simple addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division equations. The files are scaled down, but simply increase the scale to a preferred size, print, and easily assemble. It comes in small size for fewer place values or a larger size for more advanced math students.
“We were really impressed with the creative math manipulatives the Thingiverse community came up with to support this challenge,” noted Bre Pettis, CEO of MakerBot. “We love that they created a variety of easy to 3D print tools that can be used immediately in the classroom and will contribute to the math knowledge of students.”
Launched just two weeks ago, MakerBot Academy is a major initiative to put a MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer in public schools in America. MakerBot has already received funding to support 478 teachers in 410 schools. More than $1.1 million has been raised by MakerBot, its partners and individual donors and funded MakerBot Academy requests through DonorsChoose.org, the non-profit crowd-funding website just for teachers. The impact already has the potential to reach more than 92,000 students in the United States who will have the opportunity to access a MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer in their school, and the movement is still growing. The MakerBot Academy initiative is a unique collaboration between MakerBot, DonorsChoose.org, America Makes, Autodesk, and individual and corporate donors and supporters.