Center for Integrating 3D Printing Across Disciplines

Projects and Activities – Free

Welcome to the Meridian Stories Center for 3D Printing Across the Curriculum. With the generous support of the Perloff Family Foundation, who are championing the integration of 3D Printing technologies in middle and high schools, Meridian Stories has developed three Projects – one each in Language Arts, History and STEAM – that integrate 3D Printing elements into our creative prompts. The objective is to create collaborative opportunities across curricular disciplines around this extraordinary technology: the 3D Printer.

Additionally, Meridian Stories has commissioned teachers from across the State of Maine to share some of their best practices with 3D Printing in the hopes that their experience will assist you in your efforts to utilize this tool. These write-ups – listed as Activities below – are designed to be personal, informal and practical.

One last note: the three Projects below double as Competitions. If you would like to participate in the actual Competitions – uploading up to three of your student entries for Mentor scoring, commenting, and digital badging, due in the spring – there is a $40 entry fee per Competition (or $100 for all three).

Please contact the Executive Director, Brett Pierce at if you interested.

3D Printing Across the Curriculum Activities

An Arm and a Leg: Action Figures


Chris Beckwith, Reeds Brook Middle

This short narrative is a detailed account of this Tech Integrator’s journey through 3D Printing, SketchUp and tinkercad in attempts to make action figures. He succeeds of course and so do the kids. Chris concludes with some poignant reflections on the educational power and potential of 3D Printing.

Integrating 3D Printing in the Classroom

John Nicholson, Freeport Middle

While this activity focuses on creating Lego-based figurines, it’s real value is in the two tutorials the author has created, and shared here, on 1) Learning Computer-Aided Design and 2) How to Modify Files for 3D Printing.

Engineering Fidget Spinners: A Tutorial

Rick Barton, Connors Emerson School

The author has created a ten minute video tutorial on the process he went through with his students to create fidget spinners. It’s so clear and informative...and will save you hours of preparation.

Engaging Students with 3D Printing

Jason Lanoie, Windham Middle

This narrative provides teachers with a clear and useful model for how to take your middle school students through a progressively complex set of 3D printing challenges, starting in 6th grade and ending in 8th grade.  Links to relevant tutorials are included.

Tabletop Game Design Project

Hogan Marquis, Glenburn School

In this comprehensive narrative, the author articulates his passion for board games as learning tools, and then takes us through a five-phase account of how to integrate 3D printing into game design. His conclusion: “Being the lead learner encourages students to be open to failure and persevere when they are having difficulties.”

Engineering Chess

Oisin O’Searcoid, Bonny Eagle Middle

This Math teacher discovered that 3D Printing helped to bring mathematics alive to his students in an unprecedented way. Detailing his process and objectives in a compelling narrative, this document brings the power of 3D printing in the classroom alive.

Engineering Chess

Seth Mitchell, Monmouth Academy, ME

The age of the 3D printer has made it possible for nearly anyone to design, prototype, and manufacture items to solve problems of all shapes, and sizes.


Hot Dog Mummies and Sarcophagi

David Winski, Edmunds Consolidated School, ME

This imaginative and rewarding project provides middle school teachers with the perfect cross-disciplinary STEAM activity. From the process of mummification to 3D modeling; historical accuracy to artistic rendering of the sarcophagi – this experience delivered it all.


3D Printing Across the Curriculum Projects

Story Engineering

Story Structure – Creative Writing – Video Production and Narrative Construction – 21st Century Skills – 3D Printing, Engineering and Design

This is a Competition about story structure, creativity, engineering and three-dimensional printing design. In this Meridian Stories Competition, your team must develop, script and produce an original short story that is structured around a piece of engineering that your team needs to design and, if available, print out on a 3D printer. If a 3D printer is not available, then the team can construct the design in whatever means they have at their disposal.

The engineered prop is made up of three different pieces, all of which need to fit together in some form to create something that ‘functions’. Let the story creation begin! (Due: 3.23.18)

Language Arts – Story Engineering

Historical Escape Room

Historical Research of an Event or Time PeriodVideo Production and Narrative Construction – Game Design – 21st Century Skills – 3D Printing, Engineering and Design

Escape rooms are physical problem solving spaces. In this Challenge, you and your team are going to design an escape room that has a historical theme to it. OK, here’s a little more detail. There’s a museum in town – say it’s a museum about Prohibition, the Underground Railroad, the Battle of Fort Sumter or even ceramics from the Middle Ages. The proprietors want to build an Escape Room full of puzzles that test the visitor’s knowledge of that historical theme. And you have been commissioned to design it. Go!

If applicable, inclusion of a 3D printed, historically accurate prop is recommended. (Due: 4.13.18)

History – Historical Escape Room

The Soil is Alive!

Earth Systems – Matter and Energy in Ecosystems – Climate Change – Scientific Experimentation – 3D Printing, Engineering and Design  – Video Production and Narrative Construction – 21st Century Skills

The soil is alive! But what exactly does that mean? How is the soil ‘alive’? How do we measure the organic matter in the soil around where we live to determine how healthy it is? How might we make our soil ‘healthier’? And why would increasing the amount of organic matter offset carbon emissions? What does one have to do with the other? And finally, what is ‘carbon sequestration’?

These are the mysteries that lie at the heart of this Competition. And one tool that can help you to solve this mystery is a 3D printed microscope that attaches to your phone.

Research the statement that the soil is ‘alive’ and how it can help stem the tide of climate change. This is no exaggeration. And then tell us the story of your soil, in your school, community or backyard. Actually, sell us on your story in the form of a two minute Public Service Announcement. (This Competition has been developed in collaboration with Wolfe’s Neck Farm in Freeport, ME) (Due: 3.23.18)

STEAM – The Soil is Alive!


Singular Curricular Area

$150 per year

Access To

  • One of three curricular areas
    • Language Arts
    • History
    • STEAM


  • participation in up to 5 Competitions (which includes posting Student Video, receiving Mentor Feedback, and earning Digital Badges);
  • access to 8 Activities and 10 Projects; and 
  • access to the entire Media Resource Collection. 

All Curricular Areas

$350 per year

Access To

  • All three curricular areas
    • Language Arts
    • History
    • STEAM


  • participation in up to 15 Competitions;
  • access to all Activities and Projects; and
  • access to the entire Media Resource Collection.