3-D printed models

Submitted by Rebecca Currey on

Trying to visualize molecular processes for students can be very challenging.  Neil Raymond and I decided to try 3-D printed objects to use in the classroom to teach these concepts in Biology.  I used the database thingiverse to search for models, and Neil designed and printed his own working sarcomere through tinkercad.  After using the models in class, I discovered that they can be powerful tools to aid in conceptualizing and visualizing processes, especially at the molecular level.  The 3-D printing is a compliment to STEM curriculum and promotes problem solving skills.  I used 3-D printed models of red blood cells containing antigens and antibodies in BIO160.  Next week I will be using a 3-D model of DNA, mRNA, and tRNA to teach the structures of each molecule, in addition to the process involved in protein synthesis.  Students traditionally struggle with this molecular process.  I will use data from the test they most recently took to compare the class that used the models to the class that did not.  This worked out based on when the models were finished and available.

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Catherine Cochran Tue, 11/15/2016 - 11:12am

This a great activity to reach our students with  kinesthetic learning abilities.  I look forward to your results!

Rachel Smith Thu, 01/12/2017 - 10:58am

looking forward to hearing more about this.  I had great results in a past activity (documented in an old CATS) using modelling/crafting to demonstrate transcription and translation.

Holly Dison Thu, 01/12/2017 - 11:26am

 I really want to attend a workshop on the 3D printing.  What is the cost for printing 3D models? It would be great to use 3D printing for the 3D functions that we study in Calc 3!!   

Norma Jimenez Hernandez Thu, 01/12/2017 - 11:28am

Great job, Neil and Rebecca!  I look forward to your results.  

Catherine Parmiter Thu, 01/12/2017 - 11:28am

Fantastic idea and great models, well done! 

Becky Baranowski Thu, 03/23/2017 - 9:55am

Hi Rebecca - I was wondering if you had any results for this?  I am really curious as to how the 3D printed models worked with your students.