Tag Archives: education
Invent To Learn: 3D Printing and the Maker Movement Take Center Stage in a New Book on Education
In a new book, Invent To Learn: Making, Tinkering, and Engineering in the Classroom, internationally respected educators Sylvia Martinez and Gary Stager capture the excitement of the maker movement and share the educational case for bringing making, tinkering and engineering to every classroom.
When 110,000 adults and children attend Maker Faire to learn together, exchange expertise, and showcase their creativity, it is clear that there is a learning revolution underway. Invent To Learn: Making, Tinkering, and Engineering in the Classroom is the first book to introduce this phenomenon to educators and situate the lessons of the maker community in an educational context.
As schools embrace exiting new tools such as 3D printing, Arduino, wearable computers, robotics, and computer programming, Invent To Learn: Making, Tinkering, and Engineering in the Classroom helps them get the greatest learning return on investment. The book explores these new technologies, places them in a historical context, and advises educators on how to create rich learning adventures in their classroom.
Nicholas Negroponte, Founder of the MIT Media Lab says, “Learning is often confused with education. Martinez and Stager clearly describe “learning learning” through engagement, design and building. The best way to understand circles is to reinvent the wheel.”
Beyond an explanation of “game-changing” ways to construct knowledge with technology, Invent To Learn features advice on effective teaching strategies for project-based learning and meaningful STEM experiences for learners of all ages. The book concludes with strategies for “making the case” and inspiration for school transformation.
While Invent To Learn: Making, Tinkering, and Engineering in the Classroom combines theory, history, practical classroom tips, and countless resources, at its heart is a plea to place the child at the center of learning experience. Schools may purchase the technology of the maker movement, but the greatest potential will be realized when creativity, construction, and children are the focus.
Holly Jobe, President, International Society for Technology in Education says,”Rarely does an education book come along that provides a cogent philosophical basis and an understanding of learning, thinking and teaching, as well as providing practical guidance for setting up effective digital-age learning and “making” environments.”
Inside 3D Printing Conference
In a context that felt a bit like Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, this week 3D printing went to New York for the first ever Inside 3D Printing Conference. Over two full days at the Javits Convention Center in Manhattan, a broad array of industry leaders, innovators, academics and analysts gave keynotes, led seminars, and showed off their latest products to over 3,000 conference attendees. For many in the crowd, this was a crash course on a technology that has been exploding in the public consciousness over the past two years, and for others it was a chance to network, hear from big names in the industry, and get a sense for where 3D printing will go next.
In a role that seemed fitting given his company’s leadership in the industry and status as the conference’s primary sponsor, 3D Systems CEO Avi Reichental opened the conference with the declaration, “Complexity is free” in a 3D printed world. Never before, he underlined, has a manufacturing process been indifferent to geometric complexity, and to him this is the single biggest reason 3D printing will continue to grow and expand into sectors ranging from education to medical devices to automotive and aerospace.
Much of the conference’s focus was on these different segmentations of 3D printing, and breakout seminars throughout the two days took a deeper dive in a variety of subjects. Some of the more memorable seminars explored integrating 3D printers into K-12 education, topology optimization – a complex but very impressive design tool that appears to be a perfect match for 3D printing, consumer desktop and cloud 3D printing, and bioprinting human tissue for medical applications. Longtime industry analyst Terry Wohlers and Shapeways CEO Peter Weijmarshausen also gave keynote addresses highlighting their vision for the industry’s future.
Outside the seminar room the conference also had a distinctly hands-on element. A bustling exhibit hall hosted dozens of booths showing off a variety of consumer and enterprise 3D printers along with more curious technologies like 3D scanners and novel CAD input devices. 3D printing service companies were also eager to engage with potential customers, showing high quality parts available for remote ordering online.
While many sides of the industry were highlighted at the inaugural Inside 3D Printing Conference this week, the underlying theme was very clear: while 3D printing technology may have existed in research labs and niche applications since the 1980s and ‘90s, it is only now beginning to truly change our lives in meaningful ways. And from the number of times speakers said “Nascent,” “Just the first inning,” or “Only scratching the surface” to describe the state of the industry, it is clear that insiders see the eventual impact that 3D printing will make on the world to be profound, far-reaching, and on a larger scale than most casual observers can imagine today.
Inside 3D Printing Conference: Day 2
Topology optimization, a process inspired by bone structure research done over a century ago, is explained by solidThinking designers.
New Shapeways funding! Shapeways announced a new round of funding led by Andreessen Horowitz. Partner Chris Dixon will join the Shapeways board.
Sculpteo is a 3D printing marketplace that is innovating on 3D printing services. We spoke with them at the Inside 3D Printing conference in NYC.
The Commonwealth Engineering and Design Academy in Virginia looks to integrate 3D printing to revolutionize K-12 education.
Shapeways CEO Peter Weijmarshausen delivers an update on his company at the Inside 3D Printing Conference, fresh off of a new round of funding.
Innovating in K-12 Education with 3D Printing
3D printing has been around for three decades, but only recently has the cost of 3D printers been low enough to think about putting this technology in classrooms. Now a partnership between the Commonwealth of Virginia, Univeristy of Virginia and the City of Charlottesville has led to the creation of CED (Commonwealth Engineering and Design) Academy at Buford Middle School, a new type of school built specifically around project based learning with the help of new technologies such as 3D printing in K-12 education.
The new program, which opens this August after a $3 million renovation, will have one 3D printer for every 4 students in a classroom, but that is just the beginning. As Glen Bull, Gavin Garner, and Greg Lewin from the University of Virginia put it, “The challenge is to find a curriculum to go with it.” Speaking at this week’s Inside 3D Printing Conference in New York, the trio emphasized that, “You can’t just take a 3D printing lesson plan and drop it into a middle school and say, ‘here you go.’” And this is why the involvement of University of Virginia is so important.
Faculty and students from UVA’s Schools of Engineering and Education are working together to develop and test new curricula for critical STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education that makes use of 3D printing. One of their first successes was a project in which middle school students designed and built a fully functional speaker. Teams were broken into two halves – one to design and test a high frequency tweeter and another to design and test a low frequency woofer – and then at the end of the project the two teams were forced to integrate the two parts into one integrated speaker. In another project, currently still in a pilot stage, undergraduate engineering students are challenged to program a computer controlled pen that was made with a 3D printer.
Overall, the speakers were both optimistic about the future of 3D printing in the classroom, especially the availability of various funding sources, but also cautionary that curricula are difficult to develop and take a lot of time and testing. What is clear is that the Commonwealth of Virginia is taking 3D printing very seriously, and that they are leading the way in 3D printing education.
Authored by Brian H. Jaffe, founder of Mission St. Manufacturing and contributor to On 3D Printing.
3D Printed Robot Mobot to Enhance STEM Education
The Mobot modular 3D printed robot was developed for middle school and high school students to learn science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) subjects. Modules can attach to each other and accessories to form new and exciting configurations.
“As 3D printers become more and more common place in the classroom there’s a need for engaging projects and curriculum to tie this powerful tool into science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) subjects,” said Graham Ryland, President and Co-founder of Barobo Incorporated. “We’re excited to launch the Mobot-A robot kit which offers students the opportunity to learn 21st century skills by building a robot from the ground up.”
Starting this month, all the plastic parts, accessories, assembly instructions, and curriculum for the Mobot-A will be available to download from the company’s website. The Mobot-A kit includes the internal electronics, motors, and fasteners. Users 3D print the rest. The launch of the Mobot-A kit follows a successful Beta program where over 300 robots were used in more than 30 high schools and middle schools to teach STEM subjects.
Once assembled, the Mobot-A can attach to other robots and accessories to form new and unique machines. Students can design their own accessories to attach to the robot and print on a 3D printer. In this way there’s no limit to what can be created. Curriculum ties these robot projects into math principles and students are exposed to basic programming.
“We’re breaking from traditional business models and relying on our users to, not just assemble the robot, but play an active role in manufacturing the plastic parts,” said Graham Ryland. “We’ve proven the technology in the classroom and want to get it into students’ hands as quickly and cheaply as possible. Relying on customers to manufacture their own plastic parts wasn’t an option just a few years ago, but 3D printing technology has made this new way of rolling out an educational product possible.”
- Wireless programming over Bluetooth.
- Structured curriculum tying activities into STEM subject.
- Kids learn 21st century skills.
Included in the Mobot-A Kit are:
- Electronics, Motor, Batteries, and Fasteners
- Detailed Assembly Instruction and Curriculum
- Easy to use Software
Below is a video showing the Mobot in action.
Here is a video by Bridgeway Island Computer Programming Elective who won 1st place at the UC Davis CSTEM Day.