3D printing saves grammar and saves lives

Punctuation+action+figure+The+Punctuator+strives+to+ensure+proper+end+punctuation.%0ACourtesy+of+Mrs.+Megan+Monaghan+

Punctuation action figure The Punctuator strives to ensure proper end punctuation. Courtesy of Mrs. Megan Monaghan

Punctuation action figure Captain Capital saves the grammar world from capitalization errors.  Courtesy of Mrs. Megan Monaghan
Punctuation action figure Captain Capital saves the grammar world from capitalization errors.
Courtesy of Mrs. Megan Monaghan

Watch out Superman and Batman, Convent of the Sacred Heart fifth grade students recently crafted new punctuation superheroes that combat grammar crimes. Imagined by Middle School English Teacher Mrs. Megan Monaghan, the students’ project represents yet another application of 3D printing to enrich educational experiences at Sacred Heart and beyond. 
Fifth grade students used the application Modeo to design their punctuation superheroes before they were printed. Courtesy of Mrs. Megan Monaghan
Fifth grade students used the application Modeo to design their punctuation superheroes before they were printed.
Courtesy of Mrs. Megan Monaghan

The project, in which students worked in pairs to invent a hero, plan and write a story, and design the figure using the MakerSpace’s two 3D printers, served as the final assessment to the students’ punctuation and writing skills unit.
Mrs. Monaghan believes that the project not only provided an outlet for her students’ ingenuity, but also honed their punctuation and narrative skills.
“It was a really fun way to reinforce the punctuation that we had been studying since September,” Mrs. Monaghan said. “It also happened at the right time because we wanted to introduce the idea of a story arc of narrative writing.”
Mrs. Monaghan introduced the project by reading The War Between the Vowels and Consonants by Priscilla Turner to inspire students to learn a bit more about the literary superhero spirit. Afterwards, students sequenced the events of their narrative using a story arc, and wrote a narrative using dialogue, descriptive writing, and proper punctuation.
Although students chose a variety of punctuation features to project, certain skills included commas in a series, end punctuation, the usage of their, they’re, and there, strong thesis statements, and capitalization.
Fittingly, the students also came up with names for their heroes like Exclamation Elsa, The Punctuator, and Captain Capitalization. Each action figure specialized in perfecting its own writing skill to reinforce the importance of proper grammar.
Punctuation action figure The Punctuator strives to ensure proper end punctuation.  Courtesy of Mrs. Megan Monaghan
The punctuation action figure, The Punctuator, strives to ensure proper end punctuation.
Courtesy of Mrs. Megan Monaghan

“You can learn that punctuation is important otherwise your sentences would be very confusing,” fifth-grader Sophia Flynn said.
One section of the fifth grade English classes shared their knowledge with second grade students, who are learning how to use end punctuation. The interdivision collaboration benefited students of both levels.
The fifth grade students were able to share their punctuation knowledge when they introduced their action figures to second grade students. Courtesy of Mrs. Megan Monaghan
The fifth grade students were able to share their punctuation knowledge when they introduced their action figures to second grade students.
Courtesy of Mrs. Megan Monaghan

“How do you know a question is being asked if you don’t use a question mark?” Mrs. Monaghan said. “Even in Middle School we are working on this stuff and punctuation really does impact meaning so you have to pay attention to it.”
The students made use of two MakerBot 3D printers in the MakerSpace. Beyond the educational sphere, 3D printing is an emerging aspect of both medical and construction fields.
The mission of our Makerspace is to design and prototype objects that will improve the lives of others,” Head Librarian and Director of the Media Center Ms. Elizabeth Fernandez said. ” The beauty of the 3D printer is that the designs are easily customizable for individuals, be it a prosthetic limb, a model of a heart, or a cookie.”
According to technologyreview.com, a Harvard biological engineering team discovered how to grow artificial human organs using 3D printers to produce human tissue and blood vessels. The team is currently attempting to make fully functional printed kidneys.
The life-saving applications of 3D printing encourage MakerSpace projects at Sacred Heart.
We have been inspired by reports from the Open Hand Project, which makes it possible for anyone with a 3D printer to produce a prosthetic hand designed for a particular child,” Ms. Fernandez said. “Morgan Stanley’s Children Hospital, using the data from an MRI, created the model of a 2 week old’s damaged heart, which allowed them to strategize the surgery and save the baby’s life.”
Additionally, 3D printing of the £50,000, approximately $79,460, 68-square-meter prefabricated houses even holds promise to be the solution to Britain’s housing crisis. According to independent.co.uk, co-designer of WikiHouse, Mr. Alastair Parvin, believes in the revolutionary potential of 3D printing technology.
New technologies “not only have the potential to change the way that we build but also who builds,” Mr. Parvin said according to independent.co.uk.
3D printers serve to materialize students’ and professionals’ dreams and have the potential to both save the world of grammar and even save lives.  
-Grace Isford, Editor-in-Chief