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Coding camp coming soon

Martin County West teacher Reanne Berhow shows off a new 3D printer that students will use during a coding camp over the summer.

By now, many children are becoming familiar with coding camps, where they can learn coding skills on computers. This summer, Martin County West will offer such a camp for students in grades 5-8, but with a twist in the form of a 3D printer.

According to Martin County West teacher Reanne Berhow, the printer is new, creating some excitement.

“We haven’t really done much with it yet because we just got it,” she said. “The kids will probably be playing with it more during the camp so that will be the first time it really gets used.”

Berhow said the $3,500 machine heats up to 400 degrees, so she will be the one operating it. 3D projects can take anywhere from 20 minutes to four hours to print.

As for the camp itself, Berhow said the students will experience both coding and 3D printing for the first time.

“On day one, they’ll pretty much just be introduced to what programing is, what codes are and how coding is basically a secret for a lock that only the developer and the game know,” she said. “We’ll also show videos of all the things it can be used for and how it affects everyday life. Coding is used in drones, our cameras and cellphones and computers, and you can make money out of doing it, so we’re not teaching it just to teach it.

“Students will be able to pick a project from either Minecraft, Star Wars or Frozen, and after one or one and a half hours they’ll be able to print a certificate. After that, we’ll introduce the 3D printer and talk about why it’s good for education.”

Berhow provided an example of being able to look at and handle a model of a human heart for science classes. She also talked about being able to print tools for a GoPro camera, and much more.

“I’m also going to show them this website called Thingiverse, which is where there are already created things for pretty much anything you want,” she said. “So they’ll learn how to use that website.

“On day two, they’re going to discuss things with the coding and they can choose between creating their own Google logo or their name into a logo that’s animated. With the Google logo, they can actually publish it and get it voted on to see if they get chosen to be on one of the Google pieces.

“Then on the 3D part of the class, the students will explore a program called 3D Slash, in which students can create, chisel and modify pixels to create something they would like to print in the 3D printer. So you can build whatever you want and they’ll be able to create as many things as they would like within that time.”

On the third day, Berhow said students will watch some videos from sports stars on how coding has helped them. From there, they will create their own sports online game. They will then work on a program called Tynker, which students will be able to use to make images or modify them.

On day four, Berhow plans to have students create a piece of art using only codes and they will be able to print their final art project using one of the two programs from previous days.

“On the very last day, we’ll be working on printing their projects, and they’ll be able to make their very own app or music program,” Berhow said.

She said the children will get a certificate after completing each project, something they will be able to use to demonstrate their experience with coding and 3D printing.

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