In order to learn big concepts, Grade 8 Math students are shrinking things down. By walking around campus with measuring tapes and using 3D modelling software, students are taking the numbers off the page and thinking in 3D.
Using Tinkercad, a coding and 3D design app, students are creating a 3D scale model of the entire Branksome Hall campus. What at first seemed like a colossal project for the class to take on, has been broken down into bite-sized pieces that the students are tackling with enthusiasm. Each building on campus was assigned to a group of students who used proportional reasoning to turn real-life measurements into a 3D scale model using the Tinkercad software program. “We’re able to explore the campus and learn how large buildings can be,” says Grade 8 student Belle. “Learning how to scale things is interesting and fun.”
“I am proud of the way the students have welcomed the challenge that comes with integrating mathematics with technology and design,” said Ms. O’Brien, Grade 8 Math teacher. “At first, we were just hoping for simple Tinkercad designs, but the Grade 8s have really exceeded our expectations. It’s amazing what students can do when they are faced with a problem that is meaningful to them.”
When the project is complete, the Tinkercad designs will be printed using Branksome’s 3D printers, creating a scale model of the entire 13-acre campus. This project not only engages students’ proportional reasoning and their ability to use mathematical concepts in an authentic setting, but it is also an innovative twist on the “traditional” math classroom. “I liked going outside and learning more actively,” said Isabella, another Grade 8 student who enjoyed walking around campus, taking measurements, and applying her skills in a real-world setting.
Our innovative Math team here at Branksome Hall is committed to engaging students in new ways and preparing them for a world where math will have infinite applications. Our Grade 8 Math team—consisting of Ms. Cornford, Ms. Komendera and Ms. O’Brien—guides students on their journey of becoming resilient by accepting challenges in and out of the classroom with an open mind.
We look forward to seeing the Grade 8s creative problem-solving and hard work come together when the final 3D model is unveiled in the coming weeks!