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The use of Blender in education

31

Article submitted by Teachers Kleber and Paulo. To carry on with the idea of using Blender in the educational area, we have given the first and important step applying activities for students between the 2nd and 4th grades (Elementary School).

Taking advantage of the thrill the 3D world causes in students, basic geometric concepts have been explored by presenting flat objects and/or three-dimensional ones, as well as the commands used in dealing with depth, rotation, movement and angle of view. Everything was planned to be ludic and natural, seeking to relate the 3D world to the real one.

To work with students from 1st and 2nd grades, an activity to solve Tangram (Chinese puzzle whose name means “7 wisdom boards”) has been developed to have students drag, rotate and place the pieces according to a picture designed for each group. These were the first steps taken in using the software Blender. Check the projects done by the 2nd grade students and some photographs of their development on the link below.

Regarding 3rd and 4th grades, parts of a character have been created by the teachers and the main purpose was to have students set it up, in a freer way compared to the Tangram activity. To perform this task, the same concepts (dragging, rotating and placing the pieces) have been worked upon, although students have also been introduced to new commands, such as doubling parts of the character's body necessary to setting it up.

The results produced exceeded our expectations, since the activities proposed have been successfully accomplished with no major problems. The only hard thing was to keep it under control kids' anxiety caused by the 3D environment. However, after classes, several students came to us willing to have further information on Blender, which was something extremely gratifying.

To check the results of this project or even through our website: click on “Fundamental I” – “Comum”, link “Trabalhos na Informática”.

In case you feel like exchanging opinions and information about Blender or the projects done, be our guest and get in touch with us. See you later. Have you all a very Merry Christmas and a hopeful 2009!

Teachers Kleber and Paulo

31 Comments

  1. my school only teach Microsoft Office and a little pascal
    lame =(
    I hope i had a teacher like Kleber and Paulo

    5th post, the number of the common member of power ranger, wohooo

  2. Even kids can use Blender !

    No more excuses for the professional who say "Blender is too hard to use".

    Ha!

    Blender is nurturing the future generation of graphists... :)

    I remember being one of those kids asking questions after class because they had so much fun with the computer...

    The things I would have done back then if there had been a Blender :)

  3. You know, it's great to see Blender being used in professional contexts, but this to me is what Blender and open source is really about: allowing anyone, of any age, to let their imaginations soar. Congratulations on the great work! Keep it up!!

  4. awesome... I love Blender... this is a great start for those ingenius 3d artist prodigies out there... ;) Except I hope the kids take Blender home with them (download it on their own PC,) and go much, much further. Great job, Kleber and Paulo!

  5. I use Blender in my Introductory Psychology Lectures, especially in the Perception section. For example, no paper textbook can compete with Blender for graphically displaying the Muller-Lyer illusion. The students grasp the concept in nothing flat when I open a standard file with a cube, go to Edit Mode, and grab a corner vertex. I then move through Front and Profile views to Camera, to show how in Camera they see a perpendicular room that really isn't.

  6. It would be interresting to know how they present the exercises to the children.
    I would like to teach my children but I'm not a good teacher, to have some guide lines could help me....

  7. Stephane

    We introduce Blender as a tool to execute a task.
    For example, in Tangram's exercise we had ready the file .blend with Tangram's modelled pieces and with some restrictions regarding scale. So, we proceed giving only the basic and necessary concepts so that the students could drag, rotation and position the piece wished in the placed drawing as model.
    If you wish, you can lower the file .blend.

    http://www.colegioimperatriz.com.br/atividades/ef/08/blender/tangram_chines.blend

    Good work.
    Kleber and Paulo

  8. great teaching should be fun, theach them kids how to control robots with blender.
    at my school there was a computer club with only 4 members, I had a look and saw it was an green text only comp graphics werent invented yet lol. So i stuck with the modeling and photography club. Building plastic modeling kits is a good practise for developing a 3d sence btw. :)

  9. Congratulations, great job.

    Kleber e Paulo, parabéns, achei muito legal ver o Blender sendo ensinado no ensino fundamental, e principalmente saber que as crianças ficaram bem interessadas.

    Um Agrande Abraço,
    Paulo C. Duarte

  10. I wish VTDK used Blender instead of old crappy 3DS MAX. It would be so cool if someone from Blender would come to my country and would show that my college is so blind to not use and teach Blender.

  11. Teaching the use of powerful, OpenSource programs such as Blender is important in education. Congratulations to teachers for the wide view; I think you are putting important instruments in those children's hands.

  12. Unsettlingsilence on

    Nice! I've been using Blender in my classroom for about four years now. In fact the kids made snowmen this week. I've had fourth graders make a 3d solar system and taught them ratios and fraction to decimal conversion in scaling the planets to their proper size relative to earth. I also use it to teach geometry and perspective. This year we had elections in the U.S. and I used the game engine to make polling stations so the kids could vote. When they selected their candidate a python script logged their selection into a text document on the school server so all we have to do to tally our votes was to check the files. I also made a math racing game where there was a maze and doors, and to open the doors the kids had to answer random math problems. Blender is an amazing teaching tool. i just got my Yo Frankie! DVD and am looking forward to studying it to see what I can learn to make even better educational games. The new game engine is going to an amazing tool, and I bet Yo Frankie can be modded to be educational and make it fun for the kids to learn.

    ysvry:
    Actually what recently I have been experimenting with the idea of interfacing the Opensource Arduino Micro controller with Blender through python. It should be possible to control a custom made robot through Blender, or to make custom controllers (A la Wii, or whatever your brain can come up with) to control Blender as well. It is an exciting time for opensource.

    Thanks for great post!

  13. One of our local High-Schools has a television program that has a really neat graphic intro. I have talked with the C.G.I. artist, and he used Blender to model all of it!

    Check it out, RidgelineTV

  14. Hey there Kleber & Paulo..thnks for sharing your experience using Blender with your students. I offer Blender for 3D animation at the high school level - starting at grd. 9 through 12. It surprising how quickly students can learn the basics and run with it. Your post gives me some good ideas for introducing Blender 3D to the grade 8's..thnks and keep us posted!

  15. ProfessorOfLies on

    I use blender for the courses I teach on 3D modeling & animation at New Jersey Institute of Technology. We like it because its free, fast to use and can easily be adapted to work with our game development concentrations.

  16. History_Teach_Man on

    I also use blender to teach my multimedia class. It is a highschool level and I am having trouble getting some students to follow tutorials and "experiment" with Blender. Does anyone know how they taught the students step-by-step? I am always looking for easy to follow tutorials to help my students. I am new to blender myself so any help would be appreciated.

  17. the word "congratulations" is not adequate for the exceptional work of mr paulo and kleber. they honour their service. i wish all the world's children had teachers like them. and, let's not forget a big bravo to all blender contributors. alas, where i live, we have politicians that are m$' puppets and... (you know how this trail of money and corruption goes on)... but the difference is not in politicians (everywhere in the world they're the synonym to corruption). the difference is that there's lack of People (with a capital 'P') like these two teachers

  18. Boas a todos!

    Como não faço mais parte da equipe escolar e depois de grande decepção, venho aqui colocar meu novo contato.

    A todos meu muito obrigado pelo incentivo, aliás estou procurando emprego e ao mesmo tempo redirecionando meus trabalhos para o site que estou criando.

    Não gostaria de acabar com o trabalho que começamos, digo isso também pelo Paulo que tenho certeza de ter a mesma opinião que eu.

    Foi muito gratificante ver as crianças se deliciarem com o Blender e gostaria muito de continuar esse e outros trabalhos.

    Quem sabe um dia.
    Um grande abraço a todos.
    Kleber

  19. I find this very interessing.. to bad the site of the project doesn't work anymore.. would like to get more information of this!

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