App of the Week: Makers Empire

Stellar 3D design hub promotes innovation, collaboration, and creation

Ed. noteApp of the Week picks are now being curated by the editors of Common Sense Education, which helps educators find the best ed-tech tools, learn best practices for teaching with tech, and equip students with the skills they need to use technology safely and responsibly. Click here to read the full app review.

What’s It Like? 

Teachers looking for a solid approach to bringing the four C’s (creativity, communication, collaboration, and critical thinking) into their classroom will be pleasantly surprised at how well Makers Empire can help achieve this goal. Promote scientific inquiry by having students design and print a maze to predict and track insect behavior. Encourage mathematical design principles through the use of geometric shapes. Foster imagination by having students design the characters and worlds they envision in books and stories they read, and breathe new life into ancient civilizations by letting students construct 3D models of architecture and artifacts. Promote student collaboration by designing a lesson around a problem, and encourage students to innovate by creating or improving upon a design. Engage hard-to-reach students by providing hands-on opportunities to learn concepts, and promote formative feedback by having students document their progress via screen recordings or a video response tool.

Price: Paid

Grades: K-8

Rating: 5/5

Pros: Fun, interactive software combined with over 130 standards-based lesson plans will help teachers get started with design in virtually any classroom.

Cons: May be cost prohibitive for some schools, especially considering that multiple 3D printers would be needed to maximize the effectiveness of the tool.

Bottom line: This is a great design and creation tool that teachers and students can use to be innovative and share ideas with a vibrant community of makers.

Laura Ascione

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