How 3D printing is changing education

If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that we must invest in educational technology. When schools use technology to improve the quality and quantity of educational content, learners will thrive. Amid this technology-driven educational environment, 3D printing offers students the following: helping to facilitate differentiated instruction, increasing student engagement, expanding practice opportunities, and scaling up standardized instruction.

No More One-Size-Fits-All Teaching

Differentiated instruction is a teaching approach that tailors instruction to all students’ learning needs. Most students are unlikely to get much from “one-size-fits-all” instruction. Instead, it should vary based on students’ interests, preferences, strengths, and struggles.…Read More

The Steam Foundation Teams Up with MakerBot to Expand Access to 3D Printing for Students

January 14, 2022 — The Steam Foundation and MakerBot have teamed up to bring 3D printing to more students across the U.S. Founded by Aadhav Prabu and Akshar Raikanti, The Steam Foundation is a California-based nonprofit with a mission to make STEAM education equally accessible to all students in kindergarten through 12th grade. The organization, which is also run by a team of students, offers free workshops that teach 3D printing, robotics, graphic design, and coding to students as well as programs to help bring 3D printing into schools.

Prabu and Raikanti are currently juniors at Dougherty Valley High School in San Ramon, Calif., and have been teaching 3D printing for years. They were inspired to start the organization after seeing how engaged students were in their 3D printing club in middle school.

“When Akshar and I ran the 3D printing club, we saw how excited students were for the chance to use the Replicator+. For some of them, it was the first time they had ever seen a 3D printer. We started The Steam Foundation to give more students the chance to learn about 3D printing,” said Prabu. “We’re fortunate to work with MakerBot, a company which has the same commitment toward 3D printing in education as we do.” MakerBot donated 3D printing equipment and materials to support the Foundation’s mission and programs.…Read More

Student entrepreneurs flex a funding win to grow 3D printing business

Since the first patent for additive manufacturing (more commonly known as 3D printing) was filed in 1980, the industry has expanded rapidly. As with any new technology experiencing accelerated growth, unforeseen problems spur innovation.

In San Antonio, TX, an all-women team of Alamo Heights High School students realized one of the problems facing manufacturers of 3D printers was the procurement of raw materials available to make filament. After collaborative deliberation, the group founded FYDER Filament—a company poised to revolutionize sustainable materials sourcing in the 3D printing market.

We developed the idea for FYDER Filament while participating in INCubatoredu, a full-year entrepreneurship program offered at our school to empower young business leaders to identify an opportunity, develop solutions, and create an actual business. At the end of the course, each team competes for funding to grow their business.…Read More

3D printing, STEAM are on the rise in classrooms

3D printing is becoming an increasingly important part of educators’ interactive and engaging STEAM learning strategies, a new survey reveals.

As teaching methods progress from more traditional learning environments to more dynamic and active, educators are seeking new ways to help students build important 21st-century skills such a critical thinking and problem solving, according to a new survey from 3D printer manufacturer MakerBot.

The survey is based on more than 1,000 responses from educators across the globe and paints a picture of how 3D printing is becoming more accessible in classrooms.…Read More

Enabling schools to fight COVID-19 with 3D printable respirator masks

pi-top, creators of computing devices that combine digital making, coding, and practical projects, today announced their partnership with Maker Mask. The collaboration comes as a result of both companies’ goal to give teachers, students and makers everywhere the ability to make a positive impact on their communities by 3D printing respirators for those in need.

Schools around the world use pi-top to teach core STEAM skills in coding, robotics and AI. Teaming with Maker Mask, pi-top has released a video content series that teaches 3D printing. Detailed lesson plans on the fundamentals of 3D printing and how to 3D print the Maker Mask can be found on Further, pi-top’s online learning space.

As a response to the desperate need for locally sourced personal protective equipment (PPE), the Maker Mask team has created the first National Institutes of Health (NIH)-approved, open-source 3D printable mask which is available for free download at makermask.com. More than 10,000 makers around the world are using their 3D printers and the Maker Mask design to make protective respirator-style masks at small batch production sites in 145 countries. Printing one of the Maker Mask masks takes about four hours and has the equivalent lifetime use of 300 N95 masks.…Read More

Ultimaker unveils Pioneer Program, promoting 3D printing in education

Ultimaker, a 3D printer manufacturer, announced the official launch of the Ultimaker Pioneer Program. The scheme introduces 3D printing and design to North American students – both K-12 and higher education.

As part of the Pioneer Program, educators (‘Pioneers’) can access 3D printing content on the Ultimaker Education website, which can be shared with students. The site welcomes contributions, and users maintain content ownership through Creative Commons Attribution, Share-Alike and Non-Commercial licensing. Through the Ultimaker Education site, educators throughout North America have access to resources and knowledge that are not commonly available.

“Teaching 3D modeling and printing in our schools is a new educational endeavor,” says Burton Isenstein, Adjunct Assistant Professor at The School of The Art Institute of Chicago. “Faculty are on the front lines, figuring out the best methods of teaching as we continue to learn about the topic ourselves.”…Read More

How to transform your media centers into makerspaces

Even with tight budgets, it’s possible to repurpose your libraries or media centers into 21st century makerspaces

For many of us in education, budget cuts are always a possibility. The challenge becomes how to make our services and programs truly stand out to stakeholders, so that we’re truly transforming what we’re doing to meet the needs of our students in today’s world. With that in mind, we recently re-introduced our media centers to our district community, Brevard County Schools in Florida, as a valuable and integral part of a student’s education that supports 21st-century skills

Our “a-ha” moment about how to make this rebrand a reality came at a tech conference. With a colleague, the two of us stopped at a 3D printer booth and we both had the same vision. We talked about repurposing the media centers into Innovation Centers where students had the opportunity to experience STEM activities through a maker format. We were excited about the chance to give our students the opportunity to truly envision, design, create, and walk away with a 3D printed model.

We approached the Brevard Schools Foundation and shared our vision. At the Foundation’s recommendation, we applied for and won a grant from Northrop Grumman. In developing a timeline and plan for implementing the grant, we identified six schools where the changes would start and made sure that they were willing and able to support this new program. One of our goals was to make the program replicable and sustainable. This was our chance to create a model that could be rolled out to other schools in the future.…Read More

Editor’s Picks 2015, No. five: Journey to the student-centered makerspace

Explore a collaborative makerspace where students design the space and take charge of their learning

Ed. note: This year the editors selected ten stories we believe either highlighted an important issue in 2015 and/or signaled the beginning of an escalating trend or issue for 2016 (look for No. 1 on Dec. 31). The modern makerspace exploded this year, popping up in schools across the country and snagging a spot on the New Media Consortium’s Horizon Report as a trend to watch. In this piece, educator Abbe Waldron takes the concept further, using students to lead the transformation.

makerspace-studentsWhether you know it or not, your students are already making things outside of school. From digital animation and programming to video production and duct tape crafts, it’s surprising the number of outlets students have found to vent their creativity.

So I learned when my school, Wamogo Regional High, decided to harness this expression productively by designing a student-centered makerspace for collaboration, creation, and problem-solving. We wanted a place where students could access materials, equipment and supplies to explore their interests and take on new challenges. And we wanted to create an environment where students could extend their learning, take risks, and build capacity as leaders.…Read More

6 STEAM tinkering tools for the holidays

Engage kids of all ages with these STEM and coding learning toyssteam-tools

 

The year that was brought with it a renewed, and much welcome, interest in science and technology, as STEAM, makerspaces, 3D printing, and coding all became hot topics. Each year, as parents look to celebrate the various holidays with our kids, many of us rack our brains trying to find gifts that are both fun and educational. This year is no different and fortunately, the latest STEAM push has made many of the learning tools very desirable as holiday gifts.

The following are six ed-tech tools that will undoubtedly spark the creative and innovative side of kids of all ages (parents and teachers included). These tools are dynamic, engaging, and fun for everyone. Best of all, they’ll help students focus on higher-order thinking skills as they make, design, create, and code their way into 2016.…Read More