Student Competition

3D Competition Challenges Students To Reconstruct Historic Buildings

Google, Hartford High School, the State of Vermont and the Preservation Trust of Vermont have come together to launch a unique 3D printing competition for high school students in the state. The competition, Vermont High School Town History in 3D, challenges students to use SketchUp to create models of historic Vermont buildings.

"Students will research the history of the buildings and develop multimedia presentations to accompany their models," according to a news release. "The models will be imbedded in Google Earth, which will allow them to be viewed in their geographic context online."

"3D printing has been a critical tool in the classroom," said Mike Hathorn, a teacher at Hartford High who uses SketchUp and 3D printing in his history class, in a prepared statement. "It's a hands-on method for teaching history to a technologically minded generation. It's mentally and technically challenging, and above all it's fun."

Participating teachers will receive SketchUp training and 3D printers will be provided for the competition. Next spring, the completed models will be evaluated by on historical and architectural accuracy.

"Town History in 3D utilizes cutting edge technology and the Internet to enable students to explore the history of their communities," said Matt Dunne, head of community affairs at Google, in a prepared statement. "It's a new approach to education and historic preservation that connects technology with Vermont history."

"The Agency of Education is very pleased to be a part of the group supporting this competition," said Peter Drescher, education technology coordinator, in a news release. "This kind of learning is the kind that truly engages learning from a project-based format. The connection to community gives an even bigger impact, and shows both students and communities the power of technology to engage students in preservation of our Vermont architectural treasures."

More information is available at

About the Author

Joshua Bolkan is contributing editor for Campus Technology, THE Journal and STEAM Universe. He can be reached at [email protected].

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