Introduction: Make Your Own PEZ Dispenser

About: I teach Design at St. Luke IB (International Bachelorette) school in Shoreline WA

I do this lesson with my 7th grade Design class. This is an individual assignment that helps them learn the mechanics of accurate measurement and design so they can all be productive participants later in groups when they have to build Solar Powered Boats to race.

For me this is a lesson about measurement and the accurate transfer of measurements to use them in creation.

I start this unite with a lesson on measuring using a Vernier Caliper and a Weld notes YouTube Video is a great source. I have plenty of Vernier calipers available in my classroom as they are essential in 3D printing.

Basically my students are given a piece of PEZ candy, the use of Vernier Calipers and the following instructions.

You are to measure a PEZ candy brick using a Vernier Caliper. Record the information and create your own
PEZ dispenser that will hold a package of PEZ and distribute the candy one piece at a time. You many copy the traditional PEZ dispenser or create your own that meets the above criteria. You must measure and sketch your ideas, transfer those sketches to Tinkercad to represent the individual parts to be printed on a 3D printer and then assemble and demonstrate. Finally, you will reflect on the process so keep good notes in your Design Journal for reference.

I am fortunate to have 5 3D printers available, but this cold be done in Tinkercad only.

The complete student instructional handout is attached as a PDF complete with the IB Rubric. As with all IB lessons it is a work in progress and this year will be only the second year I have done the lesson.

Great fun if you complete by bring your PEZ to work day on Nov 30th. I give them a package of PEZ candy and they can have their creation on their desk all day. Oh and the inside part of the head was really hard for some to make. Lots of headless PEZ in the end.


Vernier Calipers. The cheap plastic ones are fine for this and you can find at Harbor Freight for 2$ each or on Amazon.

Pencils and graph paper or a student journal for sketching.

We have computers students can use to get onto Tinkercad. Free CAD if not using in your classroom you should. I use it with 2nd to 8th graders and when kids have free computer time a lot of them spend it on Tinkercad. When my current 3rd graders get to 7th grade this project will only last the week at best. By then I will be having them scan their face for the Head. (actually I just downloaded software yesterday to do that.:)

3D printers. If avalability is limited and PLA a big ticket item I would make them prove it works in Tinkercad and check measurements before printing. IF not print away failure is a great part of the learning process and a good laugh

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