Teaching students to use Tinkercad

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266:Teaching students to use Tinkercad

 

Teaching students to use tinkercad

 

Robert Walsh from Excalibur Solutions Stem Academy explains the why and the how behind teaching students to use Tinkercad.

What is STEM?

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics

Why does my child need STEM education even if they aren’t interested in a STEM career?

  1. Children do not know what they will want to do after high school, so prepare them in case they do want to pursue a STEM career
  2. There are so many benefits of learning STEM subjects that spill over into all areas of life. See
    Episode 144– Non-Tech Skills Students Learn From Coding

What is Tinkercad?

  1. Tinkercad is a free web-based application that is best known as a 3d modeling tool. You can take your models and then print them out on a 3d printer
  2. The second mode in Tinkercad is called virtual circuits mode. In this mode, you can simulate physical electronic circuits using a breadboard, which is a way to connect components together. You can create circuits, power them with simulated batteries or microcontrollers like Arduino or micro:bit. These microcontrollers are small computers available in the real world, but they are simulated almost perfectly inside Tinkercad’s virtual environment. This mode allows you to learn how to build electrical circuits, use microcontrollers, without worrying about losing or breaking components, not having the right parts, or struggling with the physical dexterity required for working with actual circuits.
  3. There’s a third mode called Code Blocks, similar to the 3D design tools, but instead of dragging and dropping components, you write programs in a block-based, drag-and-drop language similar to Scratch. However, you’re manipulating 3D objects when writing these programs. Once familiar with 3D design, you can inject programming to create models instead of manipulating them freehand.
  4. Finally, there’s a fourth tool called Physics Lab, which allows you to experiment with things like springs, motion, and other physics concepts, all simulated within the Tinkercad environment.

How can students learn Tinkercad?

  1. Many free online resources eg Youtube videos and Tinkercad provides basic training too
  2. Excalibur Solutions Stem Academy has a subscription-based program for many STEM topics and Tinkercad is included in that.

Are there other programs like Tinkercad that people might not know about?

  1. Makecode: https://microsoft.com/makecode
  2. Wokwi: https://wokwi.com

Where to find Robert online:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/excaliburstem

Twitter: https://twitter.com/excaliburstem

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/excaliburstem/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@excaliburstem

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/excalibur-solutions-stem-academy

LinkedIn (personal): https://www.linkedin.com/in/robert-t-walsh/

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Take a look at show sponsor, FundaFunda Academy to see what they offer for online classes and web-based unit studies.

Join our Facebook Group especially for the listeners of this podcast! You can ask questions and get advice as you try integrating technology in your homeschool.

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