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 â€œ7 wisdom boardsâ€) 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.
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