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Bits and Bytes
A monthly newsletter of resources
Hi, I'm Toni, a technology education specialist with 10+ years of teaching in a K-12 school setting.
Thanks for being a part of the Ms. Computer Teacher community!
Our website is dedicated to providing easy, fun digital arts projects to teachers and students as young as 4th grade. All of our projects can be completed independently using easy-to-follow, short video tutorials and free, web-based applications. Currently, we offer free projects for 3D modeling, photo editing, web design, and animation, and are working hard to grow our library to include tutorials for game-building, video editing, app building, and more.
Please continue to follow us on our journey as we grow, and please share these free resources with students and teachers interested in creating with technology.
Happy creating!
Check out this month's featured project:
01 (of 13) - How to Build a Custom 3D Printed Design in Tinkercad Introduction
Learn to design and create a custom 3D box using Tinkercad.
Get your students excited about 3D printing as they create this custom box using their problem solving and measurement skills! Once they're done, they can 3D print their design and use it as a gift to a family member or friend, store small valuables such as keys and money, or as a catch-all for everyday small items. Students will also possess the 3D modeling skills to then create their own dream designs! Imagine the possibilities!
We're excited to see this creative custom box designed by Christen J., 8th grade.
Christen says, "Ms. Computer Teacher's video tutorial was easy to understand and her suggestions for the design were very helpful. I created a 3D box that I had printed. I plan to store my spare change in it." 

Thank you, Christen. We think it turned out great!
Christen's project was printed at Brian's 3D Hub in Durham, NC.
Curriculum Connections
We know that students learn best when actively engaged exploring and applying concepts. That's why we love the 3D box project. Besides practicing creative design and technology skills, what better way to measure, problem solve, calculate and apply what they know about shapes and volume as they create their custom design! 
This projects provides an opportunity to practice :
  • Converting centimeters to millimeters
  • Calculating surface area, perimeter and volume
  • Determining measurement and volume of the negative space inside the box
In addition, the box could be used to count the number of edges, vertices and faces or identify right angles. 
Beyond math and technology, think of all the ways that the box encourages cross-curricular connections! 
Why not design a biography box for a famous person and place small trinkets, pictures and facts inside to represent the person? Or the box could become a time capsule for a certain event or historic period. Students might create culture boxes for countries around the world.
Imagine finding this magic box! What a great story starter this could be! What does it hold? Who does it belong to? What are the symbols and the designs on the lid? What happens when the box opens?
Perhaps the embossed or engraved image on the lid is a book cover and the box holds clues about a book.
Don't forget the opportunity to put your students' drawing skills to work as they design the image for the lid.
What other curriculum connections come to mind? So many possibilities and reasons to design your box! 

What is Tinkercad?

Tinkercad is a free, web-based, 3D design and modeling tool.
Users form designs from Tinkercad shapes and building blocks or design and import their own shapes. Students can also import 2D images, and then use the tool to create 3D versions of them. Designs are compatible with any 3D printer that accepts standard STL file formats, or users may take advantage of third party 3D printing service partnerships. 
Tinkercad runs in any browser that supports HTML5 on Windows, Mac or Linux machines, but Firefox or Chrome are the preferred browsers.
Teachers can create an account and generate an invite code for their students. Students sign up, and if 13 or under, use a parent email. Users may work collaboratively to create and print awesome designs. More directions about accounts can be found here

The K-12 Educator’s Guide to Buying a 3D Printer

So you want to buy a 3D printer? After all, isn’t that what all the schools are getting these days? With makerspaces, STEM, and STEAM all the rage, it’s no wonder 3D printer sales are at an all-time high with schools being one of the fastest growing purchasing groups.  Before you run out and spend hundreds (or thousands) of your school’s dollars on just any 3D printer, here are a few tips to consider. Read more...
Featured next month: Don't miss our Animation project! 

Watch for our new projects and resources each month.
What digital arts projects and applications would you like to see? Send us your ideas at:
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Happy creating!
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