Driving Question

How can we support animals with physical disabilities so that they can better perform their daily activities independently?


In this unit, students will experience an anchoring phenomenon routine around using 3D printing, 3D modeling, and Augmented Reality (AR) technologies in unique ways. Students will generate questions and develop a driving questions board (DBQ) centered around a design challenge involving animals with disabilities. Through the course of this unit, students engage in the engineering design process to solve a design challenge by designing 3D printed prosthetic limb(s) for animals. The unit concludes with several options for assessments about how well students' spatial thinking skills can enhance and their understanding of 3D printing technologies and their engagement and interests with them.

What Students Figure Out

 By the end of the unit, students will develop skills and understanding of 3D printing and 3D modeling including:

  • How to design, develop, and revise 3D printed models
  • Use information from case studies provided to them on animals with physical disabilities, to help guide their design
  • How to use Augmented Reality to debug 3D models
  • In the process enhance their spatial thinking skills
  • How can 3D printing be used as a rapid prototyping tool and explore their interests with this technology

Targeted NGSS Performance Expectation

  • MS-ETS1-1. Define the criteria and constraints of a design problem with sufficient precision to ensure a successful solution, taking into account relevant scientific principles and potential impacts on people and the natural environment that may limit possible solutions.

  • MS-ETS1-2. Evaluate competing design solutions using a systematic process to determine how well they meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.

  • MS-ETS1-3. Analyze data from tests to determine similarities and differences among several design solutions to identify the best characteristics of each that can be combined into a new solution to better meet the criteria for success.

  • MS-ETS1-4. Develop a model to generate data for iterative testing and modification of a proposed object, tool, or process such that an optimal design can be achieved.