3D Printer Club: Message for Adult Advisers

Special Content: Repraps for Education

This is part of a series of posts about starting and facilitating a project-based 3D printer club at a local elementary school, with the ultimate goal of replicating the program at schools everywhere. We'll be posting as many details as possible, including lesson plans and supporting materials. For more information about the entire project, including a listing of posts related to it, please visit the 3D Printer Club for Schools project page. 

With the new year rolling around, I wanted to express my sincere thanks to all the teachers and other adult advisers that are helping to make this club a success — and provide a little vision as well.

Hi, everyone. Most of my emails are directed toward the kids, but this email is for the adults who are helping with the 3D printer club.
  • First, thank you all so much for all your help with this project! I really appreciate it, and I think your help will be the key to this club’s success. The build plan that [build team leads] worked out has construction starting this week!
  • I love that everyone seems to be letting the kids do a lot of the work. (I’ll of course continue to include the advisers in team updates.) I think we’re helping the kids succeed and learn a lot by guiding them along as they figure out how to best do their work — even if they make some mistakes along the way. When I work with them, I try to help them think things through. I’ll let little mistakes happen, but I’ll try to help them catch the big ones — usually by asking lots of questions. (“Would somebody be able to go out and buy this part the way it’s described?” or “What else might the reader need to know?” for example.)
  • As you might already be aware, we’ve set up group emails to make it easier to communicate. You can email everyone in a specific team by sending a message to one of these addresses: [team email addresses]. The [adviser email] address is all of us — just the adult advisers listed below. (Thanks, [blog adviser] for all your effort in getting this blog and email service up and running!)
  • I’m not convinced that all of my lists are correct, but hopefully they’re close enough. In particular, though, I wanted to be sure I have the correct adult advisers matched with the correct teams. Please take a look at the list at the end of the email and let me know if you see any problems. (For example, I had [three advisers] all helping with membership, and I’m not sure that’s right.)
  • I realize that some of you might feel a little lost sometimes, but I think to some extent that’s okay, because it gives us a chance to sit down with the kids and say, “Let’s figure this out together.” But if you ever feel completely lost or feel like you don’t have enough information to help the kids on your team along in a meaningful way, then please just let me know so we can work it out.
  • I’m planning to send a message out that is directed to the *parents* this week, and I’d like to suggest to them that this might be a good time for them to talk to their kids about the club — just to make sure they’re really still interested in giving it their all. The club is still a lot bigger than I originally expected, and so we might need to get a little creative with things to do from time to time — particularly once the excitement of “taking stuff apart” wears off for the makers. Does anyone have any concerns about this?
This is how I have the advisers broken up. Any mistakes or omissions here?
Accounting: [accounting advisers]
Blogger/P.R.: [blog team advisers
BOM: [BOM team advisers]
Build: [build team advisers]
Makers: [maker team advisers]
Membership: [membership team advisers]

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