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Case study // Create an Object // Construction of 3D models of holy buildings (Norway)

The main goal was to learn about sacred buildings in general, and about the particular building they had chosen to work on.  Students also learnt how to use a 3D drawing program, some used the computer game Minecraft to construct in 3D, everybody also learned some aspects of mathematics.

  • Country: Norway
  • Subject(s): RLE (religion, life philosophy and ethics), Mathematics
  • Student group: A class of 14-15 year olds working in groups of 2 to 5.
  • Resources required: Google SketchUp 3D modelling program, Minecraft game, Padlet, Google Earth
The project
The teacher introduced the project by showing the students a Prezi with different sacred buildings. Students had to choose a building, and find its measurements. They used Padlet to  document all the work, the work process and the product. They were to make a plan for the work and talk to other students about this plan and get their responses. They were to create the building in Google Sketchup or Minecraft, and present it to the rest of the class. 3D versions of the students’ models will be printed with the help of the local university.
The teacher evaluates students’ Padlets on the basis of how they communicate and document the students’ work and evaluates their models by comparing them with the original – how well the buildings resembles the originals with regard to proportions and angles etc and how complicated the originals are. He also takes students’ presentations into account. 
  • The teacher felt he moved ‘out of his comfort zone’ by engaging with new technologies he had little experience of.
  • Working on a longer term project and managing their own schedule was novel for students.
  • Experimenting with new industrial technologies not normally used within a school.
  • Using both a dedicated 3D construction software and a computer game to create the objects 

Issues identified and solutions to tackle them

Neither the teacher nor the students were familiar with some of the technologies used
The teacher encouraged the students to search for solutions to problems they were experiencing on YouTube.
A limited number of computers available
Students who have their own machines bring them to school to use.
The challenge of monitoring students working independently
The teacher adapted their methods of tracking students, for example, asking them to send their Padlets (which documented their progress) electronically.
Difficulty installing software on school computers
Permission was secured from the ICT co-ordinator to install Google SketchUp