IMS Expert in 2D and 3D modeling in schools.
Bonnie Roskes is the owner of 3DVinci (www.3dvinci.net), providers of SketchUp projects and books for grade school through grad school. The ModelMetricks Series is a progressive set of project books that show how to create a variety of kid-tested models, ranging from the simple to complex. The GeomeTricks Series uses fun and colorful projects to demonstrate 2D and 3D geometry concepts such as tessellations, fractals, symmetry, and Platonic and Archimedean solids. 3DVinci also has a monthly project subscription and will soon be introducing several robotics projects. Read more at Bonnie’s blog: http://3dvinci.blogspot.com. For some free project ideas you can use in your classroom, for a variety of ages and subjects, see 3DVinci’s Free Teacher Guide.
Created in 2000, Google SketchUp is a popular (some say addictive) 3D modeling program. It can be used to model pretty much anything: you can quickly create a room, house, or entire neighborhood, as well as everyday objects like furniture, toys, cars, etc.
When it was first introduced, SketchUp was used primarily as a conceptualization tool by architects, engineers, landscape architects, and other design professionals. SketchUp’s popularity skyrocketed in 2006, when Google purchased it and released a free version. Because SketchUp integrates seamlessly with Google Earth, the idea behind the SketchUp acquisition was to encourage users to model their surroundings (houses, shops, schools, etc.) in SketchUp, and get those models into the “3D Buildings” layer in Google Earth. A quick Google Earth tour of any metropolitan area anywhere in the world will turn up a wealth of SketchUp models, mostly created by amateur modelers working at home. And the number of these real-world models grows every day.