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Everything you need to know about 3D Printing

Cube Hero created a great little post that brings everyone up to speed on everything related to 3D printing.  Even if you don’t have the slightest idea what this new technology is, you will be well versed after reading it.  Also, you will probably be fascinated by the possibilities and suddenly started seeing articles all around about 3D printing.

**side note: did you know that there is word to describe the phenomenon of seeing a word everywhere that you just learned?  I didn’t until recently.  It’s called Baader-MeinhofScreen shot 2013-03-26 at 11.49.10 AM. Now ya know!**

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Board of Trustees Faculty Presentations

The Media Center hosted the Board of Trustees Academic Affairs Committee today for an open house to showcase faculty using technologies in their courses.  Thanks goes 0ut to Professors Dave Richeson, Karl Qualls, Jenn Halpin, Michael Frantuano, Steve Erfle, Matt Pinsker, Amy Witter, Susan Rose, Erin McNulty and Elise Bartosik-Velez for presenting today.  Here is a quick gallery of images from the event.

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3D Printing Lava Flow Terrain with Prof. Ben Edwards

Since installing our Makerbot Printer in June 2012, we have been batting around ideas on academic uses for it.  Professor Ben Edwards is experimenting with 3d printing volcano lava terrain from 3D grid surfaces.  We initially tried printing a file converted to an .stl format but it was essentially just a surface (think of a sheet floating in mid air with nothing underneath it).  This didn’t work well at all so he has consulted with Chris Boynton of Makerbot to help convert the files from just a surface to a fully printable file with a base and sides.  Voilà! We succeeded.  Ben is working on more ideas, and printing test files, so we can continue working to see how the Makerbot can support his research and classroom instruction.

Trial run printing lava terrain.  The file was just a surface with no base or sides.

Trial run printing lava terrain. The file was just a surface with no base or sides.

Here is how Ben describes the project:

The focus of this project is to create 3-D models of different types of terrain, to be used in helping teach students how to visualize two dimensional surfaces as represented on topographic maps. We start by downloading digital elevation model data, processing the files using ArcGIS, and converting the files to .stl format. The resulting models will be used in teaching labs to help students visualize the shapes of various landscape features and distinguish landforms made in different geomorphic environments (e.g., glaciated valleys versus valleys shaped mainly by stream erosion).

Upgraded print with base and sides built into .stl file.

Upgraded print with base and sides built into .stl file.


New Home for the Makerbot Replicator

Since we purchased our Makerbot Replicator over the summer, we haven’t had a place for it to call home.  It floated around from space to space but thanks to a little bit of furniture repurposing, it has found a place where it can stay for good.  Check it out in the Media Center hallway in its new cabinet.  There is plexiglass on the side so even if it isn’t in action, you can still get a peak inside. Are you interested in seeing it run or do you want to create something on it?  Email for a tour.

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Noor Akbar, Media Center Consultant, Featured in Forbes “Most Powerful Women in the World” Issue

We are honored to work alongside someone who has been featured in the Forbes “Most Powerful Women in the World” issue.  Noor is an amazing person and is one rank ahead of Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer on the “Women Changing the World: STEM” list.  We are inspired by her dedication to making her country of Afghanistan a better place for women.


GIS Poster Symposium: Friday 5/4/12 1:30pm—4:30pm Kaufman Hall

The GIS students at Dickinson College will once again be presenting the results of their course project assignments at our annual GIS Exposition and Poster Symposium Friday, May 4th, 2012, from 1:30pm—4:30pm in the Kaufman Hall Student Lounge area (located between Kaufman 188 and 190, just outside the Center for Sustainability Education [CSE] office and next to DPS).

As usual, the posters will feature projects conducted by the students that demonstrate the use of GIS (geographic information systems) for investigating and analyzing problems across a wide variety of disciplines.  This year’s symposium will include posters that focus on environmental assessment, archaeology, history, urban planning, economics, health studies, agriculture, and landscape management, just to name a few.
Refreshments will be provided, so we invite you to please come, relax, and celebrate the end of the academic year by visiting with our very talented and hardworking students.
Images from last semester’s GIS Poster Symposium:

Fantastic Fairytales…in podcast form

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We love working with students on their projects but we are especially excited when the final products come out so well.  Professor Antje Pfannkuchen had her German Media Studies students create podcasts related to some element in German culture.  Some are recorded in German and some are in English.  A personal favorite of ours tells a fascinating little story about a lesser known fairytale by the Grimms Brothers.  Well paced and engaging, we give this podcast two thumbs up!

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Student Created Videos About John Cage Gather Wider Audience


Professor Amy Wlodarski’s First Year Seminar students created four fantastic videos related to John Cage.  Originally made for broadcast between live performances of Cages work by Third Coast Percussion, they are now gaining a wider audience through a new Cage archive.  The New York Public Library created a John Cage Archive to celebrate his 100th birthday and one video in particular is getting noticed from the student productions.

It has already been reposted through the Open Culture website and more accolades will hopefully follow.  It is always a pleasure to work with faculty who encourage students to reach beyond their comfort level and allow us to support the students so they can find success.



New Podcast Nooks!!

What new in the MC?  Well, we have 2 brand new podcast rooms bringing our total to 4 plus the studio, of course.  One podcast room is modeled after the previous ones as we converted a walkin closet.  The other one is a pop up room from the company Vocal Booth.  It is a bit of a smaller space than the others but by setting it up in the collaboration space, people can record in there while small groups could still work on project.  Seemed like a win-win situation to us.  Stop by and take a look if you near by!



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Delicious Science!

From the Dickinson News Release:

From chocolate-chip cookies to toffee, YouTube visitors can find out what ingredients make for sweet scientific success thanks to a series of videos produced by students in Christine O’Neill’s Chemistry in the Kitchen course. Working with staff at the College’s Media Center, class members have produced short educational videos on culinary topics such as what makes for a better batter.

“I have always enjoyed cooking and baking in the kitchen, but I’ve sometimes wondered why, when I follow the same recipe, the end product can vary slightly,” says the visiting instructor in chemistry. “The class explores why ‘following’ the recipe may give different results. By learning about ingredients’ physical and chemical properties, students are able to study the role that each substance plays in a recipe.

“I thought the video component would give students an opportunity to express their creative side,” O’Neill continues. “The subject matter is open, but the students are responsible for all aspects of the project, from choosing and researching the topic to filming and editing the video.”

Check out the Chemistry in the Kitchen YouTube channel for a taste of what O’Neill’s students discovered.

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