This collection of lessons from Intermediate Unit One combines elements of digital fabrication with mental health wellness supports for all students.


Mini LED Flashlight

Students will design and fabricate their very own mini LED flashlights! Students will create a case that fits all of the internal components of the flashlight. This can be done using…


Students will be given an amplifier/speaker kit to assemble and solder. Students will also create a casing for this circuit system. This can be achieved by using the step-by-step tutorial…

Personalized Rally Towels

Students will create a personalized rally towel that contains at least one image and a name. This can be done using the step-by-step tutorial design that follows, or by creating their…


Intermediate Unit One is committed to improving the educational outcomes of children and adolescents who experience mental health needs by providing both targeted and general mental health wellness activities in classrooms, including FabLab classrooms.

General mental health supports are provided in each lesson so that any digital fabrication instructor can incorporate mental wellness strategies.

about intermediate unit one

Intermediate Unit One (IU1) is a regional education service agency that strives to provide educational support to students, parents, educators, administrators, and communities throughout southwestern Pennsylvania. IU1 operates two campus schools which house digital fabrication labs designed to serve students with severe mental health needs. IU1 is committed to providing the highest level of emotional health care through unique social work opportunities within their fabrication labs.

Mental health wellness and DIGITAL FABRICATION

Good mental health is related to mental and psychological well-being. The World Health Organization states that worldwide 10-20% of children and adolescents experience mental disorders. Neuropsychiatric conditions are the leading cause of disability in young people in all regions. If untreated, these conditions severely influence children’s development, their educational attainments and their potential to live fulfilling and productive lives. Visit the World Health Organization for more:


Independent Reading Visual Representation

The Independent Reading Visual Representation Mini-PBL will challenge the students to become life-long, independent readers and share their love of reading with their classmates. Students will choose an independent reading…

May 23, 2019

Lesson Landing Pad: 3D Printing

This is a new type of lesson page! Instead of serving as a place to find a singular lesson about 3D printing, this is a page that will serve as…

May 21, 2019

LED Yup’ik male dance fans

Combine tradition and technology in learning how to make a glowing Yup’ik dance fan! They were used in winter ceremonies, accompanied by masks they helped illustrate the story told by…

May 18, 2019

Fire Pistons

A fire piston is a primitive method of starting a fire. It consits of a hollow tube plugged at one end and a plunger rod. It uses the principles of…

May 17, 2019

Mask Making

In this lesson we used a specific laser cutter called the Glowforge ( The Glowforge is unlike any other laser cutter on the market. It has a built in scanner/camera…

May 17, 2019


Create your own personalized light box that includes LED strands and DC power supply. The image, LED light colors and display box dimensions are up to you!!  Time: 16 hours…

May 17, 2019

LED and Acrylic Name Tags

Here’s a simple lesson for creating a cool LED lighted name tag for yourself or a whole classroom!

May 17, 2019

Ball and Triangle Game

This is a Traditional native Game played by North East Woodland Indigenous People. The Game was originally made withe birch bark, sinew and a carved wood ball. We are changing…

May 17, 2019

DF Labyrinth

In this lesson, students will design, prototype, and build their own Labyrinth games using both analog and digital fabrication.

May 16, 2019

Popsicle Flashlights – Simple Circuits with a Switch

Learn about electricity and build a simple circuit with a switch using some very simple materials.

April 29, 2019

tarukantohku: Digital Design Rooted in Storytelling Tradition

The purpose of this lesson is to promote collaboration between educational and cultural programming, specifically for the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana. The Tunica-Biloxi are a federally recognized tribe with population…

April 5, 2019

Sea Floor Bathymetry

Students will demonstrate understanding of various sea floor features, create a digital and physical model of a sea floor, and then practice mapping the sea floor (bathymetry) using dowel rods…

April 2, 2019

Set the (VR) Screen: Wearable Device Designer

Students are challenged over the course of five (5) lessons to develop a cardboard virtual reality headset. Working as a “company” or in groups, learners will fulfill job specific tasks…

March 5, 2019


Soap Making encourages educators to explore thermodynamics. Using a DIY vacuum mold machine, students will create a mold before adding scent and color to their soap to cast a mold.…

March 1, 2019

Learn CAD Design with Light Play

We use the Exploritorium’s light play activity to explore light and learn how to design and cut objects on the laser cutter. The laser-cutter is a versatile tool used throughout…

March 1, 2019

Sand Casting Aluminum Parts

Sand molded casting is a metal casting process characterized by using sand as the mold material. The term “sand casting” can also refer to a machined part that was produced from the…

February 13, 2019

Music & 3D Modeling: From James Brown to Architecture

Black History Month recognizes the heritage, accomplishments, and culture of African Americans in the United States. In honor of this month, this project combines black music, 3D modeling and laser…

February 8, 2019

Under the Lights: Wearable Device Designer

Students are introduced to the Engineering Design Process through a rapid prototyping activity. Each step of the EDP will be addressed while creating a prototype device using craft materials. This…

January 31, 2019

Heating Up!: Wearable Device Designer

Students are challenged to program an Arduino and engineer a circuit to measure a player’s temperature. In pairs, students will practice both computer and electrical engineering. Groups will simulate their…

January 31, 2019

All Tied Up: Wearable Device Designer

Students are challenged to develop a wearable shoelace device. The device should both keep the wearer’s shoelaces tied and be easily removable. The lesson uses 2D vector design software and…

January 28, 2019

Pregame Warm-Up: Wearable Device Designer

Students are introduced to the Engineering Design Process through a rapid prototyping activity. Each step of the EDP will be addressed while creating a prototype device using craft materials. This…

January 28, 2019

Electronics Musical Instrument ( Piano)

We are use piano in our traditional event which has plastic button. After pressing button we can hear sound of swaras ( SA,RE,GA,MA,PA,DHA,NI,SA) instead of this type of piano we can…

January 17, 2019


This project one of the part of Diwali celebration with self creativity. Its celebration includes millions of shining on housetops, outside doors and windows, Around temples and other buildings in…

January 17, 2019

Personalized Avatar and Quote

Students will design their own avatar from a template and chose a quote that means something to them. The avatar and quote have been engraved on leather journals in the…

January 7, 2019

Through the Lens of an Artist

Students will research a famous artist and piece of artwork before painting their own wooden glasses made with a laser and adding lenses to create a piece of art!

January 7, 2019

Layers of the Earth with 3D printing

In this lesson students must complete calculations to create a model of the earth that is proportional to reality using Tinkercad.

January 7, 2019

Learn to Program in C++ with Arduino

Programming is a critical skill for developing ideas into reality, and creating things that can interact with the world around them. Arduino is a favorite platform for any starting maker…

December 31, 2018

Escape Room Puzzles

Students learn how to use CorelDRAW and Laser Cutters through creating Math and Science puzzles.

December 21, 2018

Catapulting into Digital Fabrication

This lesson will introduce students to the essential concepts underlying the principles of 2 dimensional dynamics in a gravitational field. Along with the study of dynamics, students will construct either medieval…

December 19, 2018

Water Overflow Indicator

In this workshop student will make an instrument that would sense water overflow and that, it would give an alarm sound or a beep. In this workshop student will learn…

December 13, 2018


Students will create a neck piece based on symmetry, patterns, and colors seen in Black Panther as well as in traditional African art. They will learn how to simulate cultural…

December 7, 2018

Tinkercad & Chibi Chip Electronic Cards

This “Hour of Code” project is part of Computer Science Education Week from December 3 – 7 but the lesson can be done any time of the year. Students explore…

December 6, 2018

Shining the Light

Black Panther-inspired High School lesson plan using Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson. These lessons are designed for 90 minute blocks – 3 week Unit. Note: *Option for advanced grade could…

November 30, 2018

DF Labyrinth

In this lesson, students will design, prototype, and build their own Labyrinth games using both analog and digital fabrication.

November 28, 2018

Scrabble Tile Nametags

Learners will further develop their self portrait by identifying skills they have or want to gain, especially those that will make them leaders or useful to their teammates on group…

November 19, 2018

Edge Lit Signs

Students design a decorative plate, laser engrave and cut it, then assemble it into an edge lit sign with an LED.

November 16, 2018

Finding Fibonacci in the Helicone

Leonardo of Pisa (c.1170–c.1250), also known as Fibonacci, is often considered the most talented mathematician of the Middle Ages. In this lesson students discover the mystical nature of the famous…

November 9, 2018

Wind Turbine STEM/Digital Fabrication Challenge

Enhance your subject area content and career connections by using digital fabrication to design and make blades for a wind turbine.

November 9, 2018

From Digital to Physical: Geometric Translations

In this guide you will learn to develop a general workflow between 3D modeling softwares and planar assembly techniques for laser cutting using geometric translation tools. This guide will focus…

October 25, 2018

Fabber Sneakers Workshop

Fabricating shoes presents fun opportunities for student to learn principles from design and mathematics while they explore digital fabrication process such as 3D modeling for 3D printing, laser cutting for…

July 26, 2018

Wearable Tech in Afrofuturism

Afrofuturism encompasses a wide variety of creative explorations across numerous fields – music, art, film, and literature – over nearly a half-century in black culture. This lesson plan explores the…

July 17, 2018

Alejibres with DF

Alebrijes are imaginative and colorful Mexican art sculptures that have transformed into mythical creatures of the culture that act as spirit guides. This lesson begins with students watching the Disney…

July 17, 2018

Child Designed Furniture

Creating classroom furniture with children is one example of a successful scaffolded fabrication activity that can be an empowering experience for young children. This experience includes adults working alongside children…

May 31, 2018

Laser Cut Lantern

Ethnic Chinese celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival worldwide by lighting lanterns. This lesson will introduce students, from all backgrounds, to this tradition and its associated folklore. Rather than purchasing mass-produced plastic…

December 13, 2017

Technical 3D Modeling

This project will promote learning digital fabrication using the constructionist learning theory, providing students space to learn through open-ended project-based experiences and helping students understand the real world value of…

November 20, 2017

DIY Lego Accessories

The goal of this lesson is to use the design process to create accessories compatible with LEGO minifigures. The advantage of this lesson is that the objects can be modeled…

November 13, 2017

Quadcopter Challenge

The law defines an unmanned aircraft system (UAS) as “an aircraft that is operated without the possibility of direct human intervention from within or on the aircraft.” An unmanned aircraft…

November 13, 2017

Imaginary Village

Students will use TinkerCAD to create imaginary houses or buildings using basic geometric shapes. At the end of the lesson, each student will have their 3D printed building. Together, students…

November 13, 2017

Make Your Own Cookie Cutter

In this lesson students will design custom cookie cutters in 3D modeling software and then 3D print them to produce a functional object.

November 13, 2017

Mask Making

Digital Fabrication Across the Curriculum (Phantom Mask Aligned to National Standards for Theatre Education): Using the Phantom of the Opera as a case study, students gain appreciation for the terminology…

November 13, 2017

Circuit Exploration

Children are fascinated and engaged by toys that light up and move. This lesson is an example of how teachers can take advantage of this fascination by combining digital fabrication…

November 13, 2017

Fab Checker Boards

This unit involves student learning, practice, and reinforcement of multiple fabrication skills and tools to create personalized checker boards. The student will practice and develop skills surrounding 3D printing, laser…

November 13, 2017

The Oresmian Coordinate System – Bridge

In this lesson, students are guided in a structured learning activity (building a 3D bridge). Students go through an iterative process to learn how designs can be developed and improved…

November 13, 2017

Animal Engineers & Designing For Survival Needs

During this lesson, students will work together on engineering design challenges and station-based activities for approximately 75 minutes each day. Day 1 will focus on the developmentally-appropriate design process: Think,…

November 13, 2017

Pinball Machine

A 9th grade class can learn conceptual physics as students explore digital fabrication tools to design a pinball machine. When they laser cut their prototypes, students will gain an understanding…

November 13, 2017

Fabricated Cell Models

To encourage the students to deepen their knowledge of organelles of plant and animal eukaryotic cells. The students and teacher will develop models which include the use of the Shopbot,…

November 9, 2017

3D Printed Grabbers

This lesson will teach STEM and design concepts. It is adapted from an 8-module curriculum centering around the use of 3D printed prosthetics and other assistive devices. This curriculum is…

November 9, 2017

Project Nightlight

Students will study the elements and principles of design and understand how they  are used to create a 3D printed computer programmable night light. In this lesson, students will conceptualize…

November 9, 2017

Chess Set Design

This lesson includes the design and fabrication of chess sets as well as a redesign of a chess set for the visually impaired. Students learn how to design and fabricate…

November 9, 2017


The primary focus of this lesson is on the inter-relationship between geometry and fabrication. GeoConstructix adapts digital fabrication concepts by focusing on the inter-relationship between geometry and Computer-aided design and…

November 9, 2017


They will be given an amplifier/speaker kit to assemble and solder. Students will also create a casing for this circuit system. This can be achieved by using the step-by-step tutorial…

November 9, 2017


Lessons provide an explanation of effective teaching practices for alignment between Common Core State Standards (CCSS), Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS),and the digital fabrication design process.


Periodically lessons are adapted and tested by the Fab Foundation team based on a call for submissions from fabbers, educators, and makers.  Our inaugural set of lessons for the SCOPES-DF project were Fab Tested in 2016 and are tagged Fab Tested on the website.


Lessons are distributed under a Creative Commons CC BY-NC license, that permits free use and re-purposing by others.