An Ultimate (Summative) 3D Post!

Escape Shuttle

Hello world, 

I’ve started a new group project called “Ultimate design challenge”. The goal of this project is to make a 3D, group, model of an object that is maximized for ether volume or surface area (I chose an object for volume). To work up to this point (of making a 3D model) I had to drive to complete a driving question. This is a unique aspect in this project because I had the chance to create a driving question, but it had a distinguished outline, that suited the concept of this project. Therefore the driving question that I created is “How can I design a space shuttle using multiple 3D shapes for maximum volume?”. To understand how I could answer this driving question I used three curricular competencies. These curricular competencies are “Applying and innovating” (the contribution with personal or collaborative approaches), “Reasoning and Analyzing” (creating mathematics in pondering experiences), “Communicating and Representing” (the use of mathematical ideas). These curricular competencies were present throughout my learning path with milestones. The milestones that I completed during this project helped me work up to the final product of this project (presenting my design with the class). 

Firstly, I worked on milestone two “models and formulas”. This milestone was all about creating the escape pod for me and my group’s ‘Interplanetary’ space set, as well as adding the formulas needed to calculate the surface area and volume of this escape pod. To calculate the formula’s I needed to actually needed to no what formulas are and how they could be used to calculate something. This brought me to a steppingstone called “Surface area practice”. This steppingstone was basically a note book that I filled out to help me improve my knowledge about how to calculate volume or surface area of a basic 3D object. The information I calculated was from class decisions. I worked hard on this steppingstone because I knew it was going to make me understand how to calculate the surface area and volume of an object (and it did!). I was then able to move onto milestone two because I understood how to display formulas, from my calculations practice…

Surface area practice

In addition, I started milestone two “models and formulas”. The content within this milestone was the specific formulas for each of my 3D shapes present throughout my design. To find the 3D shapes I was going to use I went through many drafts to decide on what 3D shapes are used throughout an escape pod.

A draft

Once I tried multiple times to create a design I finally reached a solid design. This design feature many cylinders, cones and hemispheres. With the shape count present I was ready to insert them into a chart. This formula chart was the foundation of milestone two, because it was the way I could keep track of all the formulas I would use throughout calculating 3D shapes. Once I inserted the formulas into the chart I realized there was something I placed within my design that was not present throughout my chart. I did not add the empty space that was shown within multiple shapes. To included this I made a formula that was meant to subtract that empty space from the total of each shape. Therefore my models and formulas was completed.

Milestone 2

This milestone showed my best demonstration of the curricular competency “Applying and innovating”. The point in this milestone where I continued to contribute with myself and other was in my group based approaches to situations. The defined area were I demonstrated this was in the decision of what design I would create and deciding how this design was relative with the ones around me. To improve this skill to a greater extend I could’ve token a more leader type of approach to group discussions. Otherwise I had extending opportunities within this curricular competency. 

Secondly, I worked on milestone three “Calculations”. This milestone was about calculating the surface area and volume for each of my 3D shapes within my escape pod design. This milestone took lots of time because I had to record my calculations with the goal of showing my work. The way I calculated the surface area and volume of these 3D shapes was by using the formulas that I previously gained in milestone two. The way I used these formulas to match the 3D within my design I measured the height, width, and length of my shape (but these dimensions were altered for the specific formula). After I calculate the shapes formulas, including my subtraction formula that I created (mentioned in the milestone two briefing), I was ready to calculate the overall totals. To create the totals I added the surface area and volume of all of the shapes together. With the surface area total (2,051.6mm²) and the volume total (15,859.4mm³) I was able to find the ratio of volume to surface area. I found the ratio (1mm²:7.6mm³) by dividing the two totals, of surface area and volume, by each other.


In addition, this milestone displayed my use of the curricular competency “Communicating and representing”. The point in this milestone where I explained mathematical ideas was within my calculations. The reason I think this is because throughout my calculations I showed an mathematical explanation of how the surface area and volume were properly calculated throughout my design. The point were I could have improved on with using this curricular competency was with presenting this information ( I later completed this in milestone five). Overall my use of this curricular competency was present throughout this milestone. 

Thirdly, I came in contact with milestone four “3D printed model (group)”. The point of this milestone was to have our group’s 3D designs printed. Even though that was the goal of the project it was not possible because printing 3D designs take a long time, but I was lucky and mine was able to be printed. Since mine was printed I was very excited, but the rest of my group didn’t get there’s printed, we couldn’t fully execute this milestone, so we focused on the process of making the 3D model instead of printing it. When I was in the process of making the 3D model I had to keep in mind that my model had to relate to my group’s, include10 basic 3D shapes, and be maximized for surface area or volume. Once I completed all of these aspect my 3D model was created…

3D model

Furthermore, this milestone displayed my use of the curricular competency “Reasoning and analyzing”. The point were I showed an understanding of mathematical experiences was throughout the many 3D shapes within my design. The reason I think this is because I produced many 3D shapes that totalled out to a maximize volume. I could have improved on my skills with the design software, Tinkercad, to help improve the final result. Overall the milestone clearly represented my use of the curricular competency “Reasoning and analyzing”.

Lastly, me and my group worked on milestone five “Presentation”. This milestone was about creating and displaying a presentation that explained the process of creating our designs. To achieve a well executed presentation we did many practice takes. Once we were set on our concept we were able to record our voices onto our keynote presentation that we created…

In addition, this milestone also ties in with the presentation factor of the curricular competency “Communicating and representing”. The reason it briefly accents on this curricular competency is because it was made to communicate idea’s through presentation software (keynote) and use that to express a message. 

In conclusion, this project taught me a lot about formulas, shapes etc. I also gained many skills by over achieving multiple curricular competencies. With all of this knowledge in mind I’m ready to answer the driving question “How can I design a space shuttle using multiple 3D shapes for maximum volume?”. The answer I came to is…

A space shuttle can be designed using multiple 3D shapes to maximize volume by using calculations and special designing software. This is because the use of design software can create the actual design, but to make this design maximize in volume you would have to create certain calculations. 

Overall I’ve learned that this project can enhance your thinking as well as the result (that comes from the thinking process). This is possible due to the drive to achieve certain competencies that were relevant throughout this project. My final thought of my learning ability throughout this project is the way I answer this question (would you have another answer?).

Keep thinking,

– Alicia 😀

special thanks to my group, for helping with this project! Make sure to check our there blogs at…




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