Though crayons and watercolors still have a place, Hilliard students experience much more than their parents did in art class.

Though crayons and watercolors still have a place, Hilliard students experience much more than their parents did in art class.

"We have had a lot of fun and it's been a cool experience," Scott Stevens, a teacher at Washington Elementary School, said about a class project using a computer-aided design tool and a 3-D printer.

Students in Stevens' fifth-grade art class have spent the past several weeks using Tinkercad, a 3-D design and printing application, to create, draft and print a design, resulting in a roughly 2-inch square sculpture.

"The kids made sketches, then used Tinkercad to pick out shapes and then some modified their designs," Stevens said.

Many students "printed" a sculpture about 2 inches square but some were flat with longer dimensions.

They used acrylic paint to color the sculptures, which were printed in one color, typically white.

Because of the lengthy time to print -- about two hours for a single rendering -- students worked in different stages.

Joey Wolfram created "s'mores" with expressions from emojis, resulting in barrel-shaped figures with happy or shocked expressions.

"I like sketching and working on computer so this was a lot of fun for me," he said.

Maura Jacob said she knew what she wanted to make but discovered the resulting shapes were not quite what she envisioned.

Still, she said, she was pleased with the result.

"I made a sign that said, 'Hakuna matata,' " she said, referring to a Swahili phrase and a song from the Disney film, "The Lion King."

Stevens said he enjoys watching his students learn.

"I've noticed some kids who did not seem to like to draw really took to this exercise," he said.

The program also is preparing students for the future, he said.

"The program the kids are using is the same kind of program engineers use to make prototypes. It's another great example of how we are preparing our students for tomorrow," Stevens said.