Teachers College Columbia University

Creative Technologies Bootcamp

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About the course

STEAM is becoming an increasingly important piece in the current educational climate. Explore new ways of incorporating STEAM into your teaching practice! Learn new techniques through hands-on workshops and create a custom lesson plan ready to use in your own classroom!


Digital fabrication can be thought of more as using technology to create art in new ways. This can be in the form of circuits and coding, or simply designing in a computer. Our goal is to make this bigger topic seem less daunting for beginners. We are using technology that is low cost and user friendly! A classroom teacher can use it in a variety of art making activities that incorporate other curriculum. It can also be used to discuss science and math through the exploration of technology as a part of both scientific and mathematical thinking.

This three day bootcamp will be spilt into 2 sections each day. During these half day sessions, groups of educators will receive a workshop in an area of digital fabrication. This will give them not only initial exposure to these new techniques, but also a chance to have hands on exploration of the subject. For the first two days, educators will be attending two workshops, rotating between the different stations lead by TC specialized instructors. On the final day they will spend the first half of the day attending their final workshop. In the last half of the day, they will meeting their groups to discuss and formulate a lesson plan including one or more of the topics covered in the workshops. Each educator will create their own lesson plan for use in their classroom. We will encourage educators to conference with each other and share ideas within their groups. At the end of the workshop not only will educators have some unique art pieces they have made, but also a set lesson plan ready to be implemented in their own classrooms.


  • Learn about digital story telling, basic circuits, 3D-printing, laser-engraving, and other digital fabrication techniques
  • Get first-hand experience with our makerspace and high-quality equipment
  • Discover affordable ways of incorporating technology into the art room
  • Create your own unique art pieces
  • Design lesson plans that are ready to implement in your class
  • Resources on how to build a STEAM program at your school


Each group will experience a half day workshop of the following topics:

Creative Coding, Stop Motion Animation, Digital Design, Photography and Photoshop, and 3D modeling and Printing.

Groups will rotate through these stations. At the end of the last day, groups will break off to discuss and create a lesson plan that is ready to use in their own classroom.

A sample schedule is as follows:

DAY 1:

  • Introductions
  • AM- Creative Coding
  • Lunch
  • PM- Stop Motion Animation

DAY 2:

  • AM- Digital Design
  • Lunch
  • PM- Circuitry

DAY 3:

  • AM- 3D Modeling
  • Lunch
  • PM - Lesson Planning sessions
  • Closing Remarks


Creative Coding

Can computer think, imagine, and create? In this workshop, educators will learn basic principles of generative art, and use a generative art coding platform - Processing to create their own generative art pieces. This workshop is designed for audience with no prior computational art background. All coding experiences use a simple set of algorithmic commands to create simple and fun effects.

Creative Circuits

Educators will learn about different circuits that can be used in creative art projects, various methods used to create creative circuits, and explore different conductive materials. Educators will also receive information on how circuits are being used in different formats and potential places to look for resources for lesson planning and material ordering.

Digital Design & Laser Engraving

Educators will learn the how to operate two different vector design programs, Adobe Illustrator and SVG Edit. Educators will understand the benefits and real world applications of vector design and will use their new knowledge to create art pieces using the laser engraver.

3D Modeling for 3D Printing Primer

In recent years there has been growth and development of 3D printers for industry, innovation, and the arts. Thankfully, 3D design software has also matured by becoming versatile, flexible, and easy to use. In this hands-on workshop, attendees will learn to work with free and simple to use 3D Design software including TinkerCad and SculptGL. Topics relating to how 3D design software can be brought into the classroom will be discussed from the perspective of seeing 3D printing as a learning tool. The workshop will culminate in the creation of a 3D printable object that can be used as a teaching exercises for classroom learning.

Stop Motion Animation

Come explore how to create your own movie magic! Educators will learn the basics of the film production process through stop motion animation. We will explore how to tell simple stories, create characters, and animate simple movement. Educators will use professional grade software, but will also learn how to animate with cost-effective equipment and software to implement animation in their own classrooms.

Who should attend

Incorporating digital fabrication techniques into the classroom for K-12 teachers and all art educators. Everyone is welcome from new comers to technology masters!

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