Professional Development

Invent2Make offers a comprehensive approach to professional development to provide educators with the knowledge and skills to successfully implement I2M and makerspace programming.
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Professional development is customized to the individual teacher's needs and technology level.  Invent2Make staff partners with the educator to develop a personalized plan from the catalog of PD courses offered.  Each course is available either in person or as a virtual session, and all professional development is facilitated by Invent2Make staff.  The pace of instruction is determined by the educator, and each session is typically 2 to 4 hours of content and activities.  Additionally, every project is accompanied by a Teacher's Resource Guide designed to guide project classroom implementation including standards alignment, best practices, project related careers, and compendium of additional resources.

Professional Development Offerings

3D Printing - The Basics

Teachers will learn what 3D printing is, how a 3D printer works, and how a project gets from an idea to the printer. They will learn how to operate the printer, select the correct file, preheat the printer, cool the printer, remove the project from the print board, recognize printing problems, and do some common problems troubleshooting. Teachers will create sample projects, following design tutorials that support the Invent2Make projects, save their files, export their STL files, and learn to “slice” their project to prepare their design for printing.

3D Printing - Beyond the Basics

Beyond the Basics 3D printing training delves deeper into 3D printing and the unique capabilities of this process. Participants will learn to create objects whose parts can move independently, that are multicolored, how and when to use support material, and the importance of part orientation. They will explore various slicing programs and how to maximize the slicing program parameters to obtain an optimum print. Participants will also learn to “finish” their drawings using slicer editing tools. The course content also explores multiple materials that can be used in 3D printing and how and when to use them.

3D Design - The Basics

Invent2Make staff will instruct teachers in how to use and teach a 3D design program: Tinkercad or OnShape. Both programs are browser based and fully supported by Chromebooks as well as PC’s. Tinkercad enables students to create items by combining shapes into a 3D design model but has limitations that restrict its broader use. It is a non-parametric program that is well suited for first time teachers and students as well as younger students. OnShape is a fully parametric design program that allows students to create 2D drawings and then develop them into a full 3D model. OnShape overcomes the limitations of Tinkercad and is a fully functional 3D design tool. Students who know how to use OnShape will transition easily onto other 3D programs as they progress in their education and/or careers. PD instruction for both programs focuses on learning 3D design through the use of the design tutorials that support the projects and curriculum in Invent2Make. Teachers will produce designs and create prototypes from these designs.

3D Design - Beyond the Basics

This advanced PD is designed for teachers and students who want to learn and use the full capability of a parametric design program. Instruction is for advanced use of OnShape in creating more complex designs as well as how to use various finishing steps to optimize the appearance of the finished product. Also included is how to produce designs for dual head printers that use two different colors or materials in creating a 3D printed product. This PD is well suited for advanced courses and projects including Career and Technical Education and engineering curriculum.

Experiential Learning Through Use of Makerspaces

This PD session utilizes Invent2Make’s Makerspace that includes 50 3D printers, 3 laser cutters, 3 vinyl cutter/printers, 3 CNC mills, and 2 CNC routers. The Invent2Make Makerspace is unique in that all equipment is in the “cloud” and can be fully operated remotely to support training and use from any internet-available site or school. This PD course provides teachers and administrators with an understanding of the role of a makerspace in education, especially Problem Based Learning. Participants will tour the I2M Makerspace (virtually for remote PD) and learn how each piece of equipment works. They will learn the specific unique capabilities of each machine including its supporting software. Participants will see how the I2M Makerspace is employed to bring sample curriculum to life, reinforce lessons, and allow students to build, test, and refine solutions to real-world problems and needs. Participants learn what additional services Makerspace staff can provide to teachers and how those services benefit the student, teacher, and school environment. Combined with an interactive environment where students apply what they have learned in relevant, hands-on activities, a maker space can be the tool that connects the dots and allows teachers to never again hear the question, “Why am I learning this?”

STEAM for Non-STEM Teachers

In this professional development, Invent2Make staff will introduce non-STEM teachers to the fundamentals of STEAM, beginning with crucial 21st skills such as creativity, creative problem solving, collaboration, critical thinking, and effective communication. Non-STEM teachers will then learn ways to integrate STEAM concepts and learning into their everyday teaching. Teachers will review sample lessons including as relevant: entrepreneurship, language arts, social studies, performing arts, and creative arts that incorporate use of digital fabrication to see how STEAM can be used in their classrooms to provide students hands-on learning opportunities that reinforce course curriculum.

Overview of Invent2Make Program

This training provides teachers and administrators with an introduction to the comprehensive Invent2Make catalog of courses, student learning pathways, activities, and services. Participants will learn about individual courses available to students and teachers and review recommendations on how Invent2Make courses should be implemented. They will learn about our Student-Centered Learning Pathways and see how these courses build upon one another, provide an appropriate level of rigor, and learn how they can be offered sequentially. Participants will learn about Invent2Make’s learning kits that accompany many courses and the activities that reinforce lessons. Throughout the experience, the training will emphasize the importance of project-based learning and the crucial skills required of students in 21st Century - creativity, critical thinking, creative problem solving, collaboration, and effective communication.

Project and Curriculum Specific Professional Development

PD is available to support individual Invent2Make projects as well as curriculum. Teachers learn how to use the course material in the classroom, how to assemble and experiment with project kits, how to access and use the videos and tutorials that accompany the project, and helpful hints on implementation planning and teaching.