Last year, Robert Cundiff promised his seventh-grade science students at South View Middle School they would be the first to use 3D technology for math and science.
Cundiff made good on that promise Wednesday when the now-eighth-graders experienced firsthand the excitement of 3-D learning with the program, Classroom Cubed.
Through a grant from the Danville Public School Foundation, the students were introduced to the new 3-D technology, which will make math and science concepts easier to visualize and to learn.
Donning black-framed 3-D glasses with a switch on them, the students were able to interact with what Cundiff was projecting on a screen in the back of the cafetorium.
The 3-D technology allowed the students to examine the skeletal and muscular systems of a frog without the smell of formaldehyde, watch as a tree blossom is pollinated before their eyes and soar through the solar system while dodging asteroids that looked so real, they looked like they could be grabbed out of thin air.
While the students examined the layers of a Golgi complex cell, Cundiff explained to the students, “In 3-D, you really can learn cell parts better.”
Students also examined chloroplast, which are cells that make a leaf green.
“It’s something we teach in seventh-grade science, but you can see all the pieces of the leaf (in 3-D) that you can’t see in a textbook,” he explained.
Math concepts also will be easier to teach with the 3-D technology. Cundiff showed students how a geometric shape could be broken apart to determine its volume.
“One of the hard things in math is determining the volume of a solid mass,” he said, as he rotated a large, 3-D geometric shape on the screen so the students could count the individual cubes in the shape.
He also folded a cube on the screen, which prompted one student to say out loud, “It’s like playing a video game!”
Cundiff said the program is something all South View teachers can use to teach difficult math concepts before the students take the Illinois Standards Achievement Test.
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