Thursday, December 17, 2009

Build 3D Iowa - Grand Prize!!

In our last post, we stated that we were in the process of working out some details. One of the major details was prizes for students since this is a contest. While we don't have all of our prizes figured out, we do know what our grand prize will be!

Our grand prize winners will receive a netbook! If your team has five students then each student in the winning team will receive their very own netbook to keep and use to continue building 3D models using Google SketchUp.

We are currently working on some consolation prizes for each AEA. Not sure what AEA your school belongs to? Ask your building principal! We are going to be releasing more details next week. Stay tuned....

Are you following us on Twitter? If not, you should!

Note: The netbook in the photo does not accurately reflect the exact model that the grand prize winners will receive.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Get Involved - Model Your Town Contest

If you haven't heard of the "Model Your Town Contest" by Google, take a few minutes and check it out. Essentially, Google is looking for individuals to create 3D models of their local community to be placed in to Google Earth. Check out this short video introduction that highlights Pella, IA.

Iowa has only a few towns that have 3D models of buildings. Des Moines has the state capital and a few other buildings in the downtown area, Ames has a few of it's buildings on Iowa State's campus in 3D, and Pella (which you saw in the video) also has buildings in 3D in Google Earth. If you are unfamiliar with Google Earth, download it, and play with it for a few minutes. It's awesome! Some great areas to check out on Google Earth in 3D are:

  • Rome, Italy
  • Chicago, IL
  • Disney World, Orlando, FL (takes a bit to load, but your kids will love it!)
This is a national competition but we want to give it some local importance. We are sponsoring our own "Model Your Town Contest" called "Build 3D Iowa". We are working out some details on our end concerning procedures, prizes, and other items but you can get started today. Here are some important details that you can use right now to get started.

Teams - Include five students (and one sponsoring teacher, the teacher can build models as well) or teams can include six students if one individual is at least 18 years old.

Technology - You need a Google Sketch Up (Free or Pro version) to participate. If you have access to a digital camera, that helps as well. If you are a student in a K12 school in Iowa and would like access to Google Sketch Up Pro, talk to your local technology director. All schools in Iowa were given free license codes for Sketch Up Pro last August.

Where to start? Find a small area in your local community to start with. Maybe it's the town square or possibly even the school district buildings. Start small and start simple.

Are adults allowed to participate? Yes, but the prizes we will have are for the students. We want all individuals to participate but we are focused on getting students involved in this contest!

We will continue to post items on the blog and hope you will contribute to the conversation!

Google Sketch Up - Build 3D Iowa Contest (Teacher training)

Model Your Town Contest
Are you interested in participating in Google’s “Model Your Town Contest” and don’t know where to start? This training will provide you with the basics of Google SketchUp for you to support your students in this engaging activity. We will continue to provide support for this contest beyond the trainer through a group blog, scheduled webinars, and school visits from your GWAEA technology consultants!

What: Google Sketch Up Training (For Beginners) 
When:  January 7, 2010
Where: GWAEA, 4401 6th St., Cedar Rapids, IA
Time: 8am - 4pm
Bring: A laptop
Headphones or iPod earbuds
Two button mouse (if you have one)
Instructors: Tony Amsler & Stacy Behmer

Visit GWAEA’s website to register on-line:
Course Number: 
Fees: n/a
Deadline: January 6, 2010
Target Audience: High school & Middle School Teachers
Registration information:
Sherry Sines, Professional Development Coordinator
319.399.6517 or