American Innovations in an Age of Discovery: Teaching Science and Engineering through 3-D Historical Reconstructions

This 3-year project, funded by the National Science Foundation, will give students the opportunity to use three-dimensional print technology to create models of historically significant inventions using templates made available thanks to the Smithsonian Institution. Modules will be created to allow students to make connections with the devices they print. One project goal is to advance the efforts of the Innovation Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST) program. Another goal is to better understand and promote practices that increase students’ motivation to pursue careers in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). The project’s overall goal is to document the impact of the modules on student learning in science and engineering courses and to understand how historical inventions can be used to engage students. The data will be collected through module usage, classroom observation, and interviews. This project is currently taking place in New Jersey, Texas, and Virginia. Additional description of the project can be found here.

Video by the Smithsonian X 3D - Education