“What Is an American”? 3D-printed monuments of unsung heroes from the American Revolution

During the 2018-19 school year, The Town School’s the 4th-grade faculty significantly reworked their Social Studies curriculum. The result was a year-long consideration of the question, “What is an American?”

For their culminating project, 4th-graders researched lesser-known participants in the American Revolutionary War–especially enslaved Africans, Black freemen, First Peoples, and women. Then, in their Technology class, using Tinkercad and working in small groups, students designed monuments to commemorate the “heroes” they had researched.

Once 3D-printed, we placed the monuments on wooden bases (which were cut and painted by the school’s Facilities Department). Affixed to the front of the bases were QR codes, which linked to Google Docs that contained information (composed in 4th-grade Writing class) on the historical figures’ wartime contributions.

The final product was displayed in the school’s library for all visitors to see and interact with.

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