Bringing the Real World to Your Classroom

AOI | Learning Innovations
Faculty Insider

Weekly Tip: Bringing the Real World to Your Classroom

What can we provide to our learners using the Spark 115 Design Studio?

  • Access to objects or locations otherwise inaccessible to us (fossils, organs, architecture, sculptures, etc.)
  • Supplementation of concepts by bringing theory to life
  • Opportunity to experience the Design Studio from concept to design to production
  • Ability to create a scale model of student designs for review and testing

The Spark Design Studio encourages faculty and students to engage in a design process/teaching style. From conceptualization to refinement, implementation and production, the tools and space in the studio accommodate this process. The Design Studio also provides support to both faculty and students throughout the process. The studio is available for all WSU students and staff, not just those with courses in The Spark.

What technology is available?

Production equipment available includes a workstation with various design and media tools, laser cutter, CNC machine, 3D scanner, and conventional and large-scale 3D printing.

3D Scanner

The Creaform Go! Scan20, a 3D handheld digitizer, can take an existing real-world object and generate a digital 3D model. Scans can be complete in about 15 minutes. After the object has been digitally recreated, you can 3D print it or manipulate digitally, which could be used in both face-to-face and online classes.

3D handheld digitizer.

Digital scans can be uploaded and shared with anyone. Here is an example of H. Habilis skull which lived about 1.5 million years ago:

A 3D scan of a skull, Ardipethecus Ramidas, created at The Spark: Academic Innovation Hub Design Studio.

With 3D scanning, you can do:

  • Digital Archiving
  • Restoration
  • Multimedia
  • Reverse Engineering
  • Analysis and Publishing
  • Renderings
  • Inspection
  • Texture Recreation
  • Fashion
  • 3D Printing
  • CNC Machining

3D Printer

Imagine your students were given the ability to manipulate an organ, a cell, a sculpture, or a building. Or maybe your students want to create a scale test model. The 3D printer can print the objects scanned as mentioned above or print previously scanned items that are found in databases online.

See the 3D Clock Tower and Spiral for an example.

Who is using this technology?

Here are some academic disciplines that are taking advantage:

  • Fine Arts
  • Civil Engineering
  • Vet Med
  • AMDT
  • Anthropology
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Museology
  • Architecture
  • Digital Design & Culture
  • Archaeology

For more information on current projects, visit the Spark Current Project blog. If you have any questions about any of these products or the 3D scanner, feel free to contact Academic Outreach and Innovation at

Learn more about Creating Impactful Student Experiences.

This series of videos and teaching tips is presented by Academic Outreach and Innovation (AOI). We invite you to join the conversation. Share your tips and ask questions through this blog. If you would like these posts to be sent directly to your email each week, subscribe to the listserv by emailing

For more information or to schedule time with an instructional designer or emerging technologist, contact or request training on demand. You can also visit the Spark Faculty Innovation Studio in room 102 any time from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Thursday, during the academic year.