Teacher Talk: Students Create 3D Models of Vermont Historic Buildings of Worship

January 28, 2015

Sketch Up2While attending a technology festival this fall I learned about a statewide project focusing on Vermont’s historic treasures. My 8th grade students are participating in this challenge to research and recreate 3D models of historic buildings using the 3D modeling software Sketchup and 3D printing technology. During our research, we found that towns throughout the state reserved parcels of land, known as town greens or town commons specifically for the building of houses of worship. Students have chosen cathedrals, churches, and synagogues from a variety of towns. Because many of our Mater Christi students come from towns outside of Burlington, it gave students a chance to research a little bit about their own towns, and different architectures used in different faith practices.

Students are creating a 3D rendition of a church or other houses of worship of their choice for our religion class. They are creating a Google Presentation to present their research findings in a multi-media presentation. Finally, a 3D model will be printed with an accompanying QR code linked to their Google Presentation. We hope to present our work in a statewide spring invitational where the projects will be judged for their technical mastery, architectural accuracy and historical research.

Last week, architect Mark Behr, and two of his colleagues visited the 8th grade to look in on their work. This provided an opportunity for our students to share what they are learning, and for these community experts to discuss the challenges of architectural design.

Julia Melloni
Middle School Religion Teacher