Tuesday, February 03, 2015

today in the wood shop...

Yesterday in a staff meeting I brought up the idea of making a 3-d printed hand as a service project for our 3-D printer and students in middle school and high school. My fellow teachers are excited about the idea, so today in wood shop, I proposed the idea to my lower middle school students.  Some of the students rebelled at the idea of doing something other than woodworking in their wood shop class time. One student asked if she could make a hand to keep. So, that gave me a chance to talk about my own needs in wood shop. I explained that I want them to be able to use the 3-D printer, but not to make plastic squirrels they've downloaded from Thing-a-verse. Some of them would just love to do that. I explained that from my perspective there had to be one of two things at work... either they needed to design the work themselves so that the use of the printer was a way to provide evidence of learning, or that it is to be used for service to the community.

My first through 4th grade students worked on their tool boxes.

The following is from Ethel J. Alpenfels' "Anthropology and Social Significance of the Human Hand":
Because the human hand is an organ of performance, it is not surprising that the hand should "manipulate" ("to lead by the hand") the human vocabulary. The hand receives the "mandate" (from Latin "manus," for "hand,"plus "dare," "to give") from the brain, and to "manage" is to govern, direct, or control. Thus, man "commends" (which originally meant "to place in one's hands") and "commands," both words related to "mandate" and, therefore, to the Latin "manus," for "hand."
My contention is that to make things by hand is so essentially human, that we are wired for it, and to neglect it leaves us diminished in our humanity. The following article helps to explain: Making it Better.

Make, fix and create...

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