3D Printing, CAD Design & Engineering for Grades 3-5 and 6-9

In this course, students collaborate with global partner students who often lack reliable access to electricity. Together, they design and build solar-powered flashlights by harnessing the power of 3D printing and renewable energy tech!


Master the Engineering Design Process and learn about electricity and 3D printing


Learn industry-standard CAD (computer aided design) software for 3D modeling


Collaborate by video with a global partner student to solve a global issue

Join us on an adventure to transform the world as we know it! Students in this class will learn about the power of 3D printing, one of the most innovative technologies of our time, to engineer solutions to real-world issues. In this exciting course, they learn how to use Computer Aided Design (CAD) software to create and modify a series of designs. The final project is to work together with their global partners to create and 3D print a solar-powered light source, all while exchanging video messages about their projects and daily life in each of their countries.

Check out this awesome video with teacher and student testimonials by All Saints Episcopal Day School, AZ

Check out this story by PBS in NJ

Teacher Feedback

“Throughout the Global Inventors course, the students’ growth as global citizens was evident… The project cultivated greater empathy, understanding and curiosity, and the students’ written reflections on their class blogs reflected their growth as citizens of today’s world.” Read more about Tina’s Global Inventors collaboration here.

Tina Coffey

Oak Grove Elementary School, Virginia

“My students were motivated by a desire that went beyond using a 3D printer. They wanted to help their eight Nicaraguan partners, who because they lacked reliable electricity were forced to study, read, and play by potentially dangerous oil-fueled lamps. During the course of a semester, St. Gabriel’s and NicaPhoto students were equal partners in the mission to design a working solution to this problem.” See his full article on the NAIS blog here.

Patrick Benfield

St. Gabriel’s Catholic School, TX

“The project was a great learning experience for our students. The opportunity gave our students a chance to learn about another culture, and gave them an experience that taught them empathy for others, as well as an understanding of the design loop. Students were able to work through failure, and see things through a different perspective, unlike anything they had ever experienced before.”  (See his full article here.)

Rich Czyz

Thomas Richards School, NJ

“Students had the opportunity to develop a relationship with a student with a different upbringing than their own and to see how quickly their designs could move from just ideas to physical objects that they could hold, inspect, and evaluate.” (See the full story here.)

Patrick Delorey

PS 163, New York

Articles about Global Inventors

PC Mag: In 2016, Your Middle School Lab Partner Is 3,000 Miles Away
PC Mag: In 2016, Your Middle School Lab Partner Is 3,000 Miles Away

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