Most of us exist in a two-dimensional world, but Dock student Alex Brown thinks in 3D.
When his family decided to ride out the pandemic in Florida, the 8th grader completed a project he had started in his Genius Hour class before Dock went to online learning. Alex created miniature burrowing owls using his 3D printer and used them to raise $150, which he donated to a Florida non-profit trying to protect the endangered species.
"I think they're the cutest things ever," Alex told the Cape Coral Daily Breeze. "I realize their population is in danger, so I decided I needed to try and help them financially by donating to the Cape Coral Friends of Wildlife." CCFW said Alex's donation provided seed money for its new "Adopt an Owl" fundraising program.
Alex came to appreciate the owls by observing them in a burrow near his home in Cape Coral. He decided to make them the subject of his Genius Hour project, and researched the owls extensively. Printing the owls in miniature proved to be a challenge, as Alex had to make adjustments to a horned owl template. For example, horned owls have large ears, or "tufts," while burrowing owls do not. After some trial and error, Alex was able to print the owl he wanted, and he gave them to family and friends in return for a donation. Along with the plastic owl, he provided a brochure with information about the creatures, and how donations could make a difference in preserving their habitat.
Genius Hour is part of Dock's Middle School project-based learning curriculum, where students are encouraged to pursue learning about things they are passionate about, and work at issues where they want to see change. We're proud of you for using what you learned to make a difference, Alex!
Read about Alex in the Cape Coral Daily Breeze
Learn more or make a donation to CCFW's Adopt an Owl program