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Educators Come up Big at the First MakerBot STEAM Makeathon in NYC


The first summer STEAM Makeathon was a resounding success! Hosted at our Brooklyn headquarters, our Makeathon gathered educators from all levels for two fun-filled days of collaboration and learning. Attendees had free access to both Spheros and Ozobots, enjoyed a SOLIDWORKS breakout session, and walked away with their own 3D printing project for the classroom.

In the end, the Makeathon generated 14 projects that showcased the true potential of what 3D printing can do for students in STEAM classrooms. A few lucky teams even won MakerBot Replicator® Desktop 3D Printers or an Ozobot Bundle with MakerBot in the Classroom.

A challenge is at the heart of every good Makeathon. From the start, we asked attendees to take an activity or lesson already being used in their classrooms and enhance it with 3D printing. Attendees collaborated in teams of two and were mostly grouped according to educational level—elementary, middle, high school, or university. The connections and collaboration formed within the groups over 2 days was an amazing feat that lead to unique new lesson plans for the classroom.

By Sunday afternoon, there was a buzz and flurry of energy with teams hustling to submit their projects on Thingiverse. At 2:30 pm, each educator presented their projects. What we saw was inspiring —and we can’t wait to see what these educators do next!

If you couldn’t be at this Makeathon and want to attend, check out our list later on below for future dates.


The Winners
Team Macakcat won first place for the Ozobot ‘Hardware’ Helmet Upgrade Accessory Kit Project. Both team members received a MakerBot Replicator® Desktop 3D Printer. As a member of this team, David Choi shares, “It was amazing to see these inspiring teachers working together during the weekend to develop engaging ways for students to utilize 3D printing in their STEAM curriculum. When students are fully immersed in the creative design process and implement classroom concepts to real world applications, learning or memorizing becomes less of a chore as their ideas transform directly into tangible experiences.”

Team NaK won second place for the Sodium Potassium Biological Electrogenic Pump Project. Both team members received an Ozobot Bundle and a copy of MakerBot in the Classroom. Beyond winning prizes, educators were able to leverage their strengths, learn new skills, and utilize the technology in ways previously unimagined. In almost all cases the projects reflect education standards, various cross disciplinary subjects, and make learning fun.

STEAM Projects

At the Makeathon, we saw 14 incredible projects spread across every letter of STEAM. Here are just a few:



The 2nd Place Project: Sodium Potassium Biological Electrogenic Pump

Designed for high school and college-level biology or physics, this project challenges students to understand a central concept behind how tissue like nerves and muscles work. Students must assemble, 3D print, and explain a model of how a living cell moves sodium and potassium ions across a cell membrane to establish a voltage difference across the membrane. This project does an excellent job of bringing abstract concepts to life with hands-on learning.


The 1st Place Project: Ozobot “Hardwear” Helmet Upgrade Accessory Kit

Designed for middle school curriculum, this project infuses fun into learning coding, robotics, and 3D printing. Students break up into groups and design an Ozobot game with its own mission board and rules. For every game, one team must pre-program an Ozobot to maneuver an obstacle course and return a disk back to a hanger. A defending team must code their Ozobot to prevent the other side from winning. Both teams can design and 3D print custom grabber arms or shields to help them win.



The Project: Fab Four Phoenix

Designed for middle school students and beyond, this project remixes the 3D Phoenix Robotic Hand. It encourages students to design and 3D print a customizable, wearable cuff. This project teaches concepts such as basic engineering principles, units of measurement, and more. It also brings students and educators together to help families in need within the community by creating this stellar 3D print.


The Project: Paint Pendulum

This project was developed by collaborators at each end of the EDU spectrum, a kindergarten teacher and college professor. This pendulum holds paint and 3D prints fairly quickly, making it easy to integrate into the classroom. Once set in motion, the pendulum drips out paint that will eventually make a pattern on a piece of paper below. For young students, this project can teach kinetic and mechanical energy and combine art with 3D printing. It can also scale up into a serious mechanical engineering challenge by asking high school-level students to create their own larger version.


The Project: Designing a Mathematical Rollercoaster

Suited for high school or college level math and physics, students must rely on their knowledge of functions to hand design a roller coaster. They use a plotter to digitally plot graphs which serve as a basis for a 3D design. Students model in 3D design software, 3D print their roller coaster, and test it with a marble or small ball. Students must learn and apply math and physics concepts to a real model in a fun way that also satisfies select common core requirements.

Integrating 3D Printing in Your Classroom

You can find these projects and the many more to come at our Summer Makeathon group. We know that for even the best educators getting STEAM learning to stick is easier said than done. Through 3D-printing, we believe that you can compel students to critically think through problems, collaboratively find solutions, develop skills for future jobs, and ultimately heighten engagement with the lesson. We hope these projects inspire and empower educators worldwide.

The Summer Makeathons Continue

Thanks again to everyone that came out in New York! We look forward to seeing more of you across the country. Let’s continue to elevate STEAM learning and 3D printing in the classroom. Join us!


June 4, 2016 – June 5, 2016

June 11, 2016 – June 12, 2016

June 18, 2016 – June 19, 2016

June 25, 2016

  • Jun 1, 2016 6:50:12 PM

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