Paper No. 4
Presentation Time: 9:45 AM


WILLIAMS, Wendi J.W., Science Division / Geology and Physical Sciences Program, NorthWest Arkansas Community College, One College Drive, Bentonville, AR 72712, WILLIAMS, Jeffrey, Fayetteville, AR 72703 and WILLIAMS, Sarah G.W., Fayetteville High School, Fayetteville, AR 72701,

Many programs seek success strategies for working with students representing overlapping kinds of diversity, such as learning preference, first generation college-bound, Persons with Disabilities, English Language Learners, and military active duty/veteran status. Universal Design (UD) techniques are deliberately applied in geoscience and physical science learner-centered lessons to address this diversity in order to reduce barriers for the majority of students. UD for education uses three overarching principles covering multiple means of representation, action and expression, and engagement. We combine three-dimensional (3D) printing with UD implementation in the two year college setting. This type of printing shows promise as becoming a transformative media for manufacturing, hobbyists and education. Geoscience education is especially primed for applications using 3D printing, particularly since local inexpensive printing affords easier incorporation of different modalities (e.g. vision or touch) into our curriculum and budgets.

The most obtainable 3D tabletop method is additive manufacturing, where extruded material builds up a three-dimensional object one layer at a time. By using relatively simple tools such as Open Source or kit-built printers, inexpensive plastic filament and laptop computers, faculty and students can create models to illustrate landforms and mathematical constructs. Ready-made Open Source, General Public License (GPL) or Creative Commons licensed printable models are available online, yet many opportunities exist for geoscience-related collections to be developed and shared. We are using GPL and inexpensive commercial software with publically available data to construct models for in-house 3D printing. We have created high fidelity models for use in introductory physical science courses as part of our Universal Design efforts. For example, we use bathymetric data to print variably scaled models of the Mariana Trench and digital elevation data to model the San Andreas Fault as part of a tectonic plate boundary collection. We anticipate greater demand for shared file collections for use with courses (online as well as hybrid or fully face2face) due to the number of 3D printers projected as typical tools in educational, home-use and printing service chain settings.