Students use 3-D printer, foreign language to learn about lobsters

By Juliette Laaka | Jun 08, 2016

Photo by: Juliette Laaka – Second graders Grace and Violet greet visitors June 7 to talk about the lobster project they worked on this school year. Students used a 3-D printer to create a 3-dimensional figure of their drawings.

ST. GEORGE — Second graders in Leatrice Falla’s class completed a unit on lobsters this year, using math, foreign language and 3-D printing to learn about the state’s largest fishery.

Falla, who is retiring after 33 years of teaching at the St. George School, said the Georges River Education Foundation made the project  possible, supplying the students with tools like a Go-Pro camera, which they used to place in a lobster trap to record the goings-on inside the trap, as well as a 3-D printer, donated to the school by the Perloff Family Foundation, so students could see their drawings of lobsters become solid objects.

Falla said although some students’ parents are involved in the lobster industry, others were largely unaware of the crustacean and its impact on the community. The class incorporated French, social studies and math to enhance students’ understanding of the lobster, learning about the parts of a lobster in French, and other areas of the world where people catch lobsters for a livelihood.

The Herring Gut Learning Center visited the class, bringing blue lobsters to teach students about the various life stages of the shellfish.

Isabella, a student tasked with showing visitors the books the class made about lobsters at the school’s open house June 7, said her father is a lobsterman. She has gone to work with him on some occasions, and said she likes going out on the water.

Students also had seven lobstermen visit the class and bring them their slips to incorporate a math lesson into the unit. They had to balance the costs of bait and fuel with the price of lobsters caught. Students Sasha and Izzy said it was a good way to learn math and how fisherman pay for gear, such as traps.

Reporter Juliette Laaka can be reached at 594-4401, ext. 118, or via email at

Thanks to Juliette Laaka and VillageSoup for letting us post the article here for all to read.

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