MakerBot – Influencing Children with 3D in the Classroom

This article was originally written for an IT Reseller in February 2017.
Educators have to prepare students for careers that do not exist yet. Students need to learn multiple skill sets that can be applied to potential jobs that yet to be created. There’s a need for students to develop creative skills, critical thinking and problem-solving. They need to know how to collaborate and communicate effectively in new and exciting ways that they never have before.

In 2013 a report called ‘The Technology Outlook for STEM+ Education 2013-2018: An NMC Horizon Project Sector Analysis’ conducted research into developing technologies in education. As a result of this research, they concluded that 3D printing will be one of the most impactful emerging technologies of 21st-century education.
3D modelling allows students to physically investigate and handle 3D objects and prototypes that they wouldn’t typically be able to. In recent years 3D printing has been integrated into classrooms across the country.
Keen educators who are ahead of their competition, have incorporated this technology into their teaching and engineering labs with specialisms in STEM fields but there are opportunities to incorporate this further into schools with the report suggesting that 3D printers could also help develop a more effective way of teaching and learning.
3D modelling and printing not only stimulates creativity in the classroom but also helps to develop spatial intelligence that is known to be a sign of great visual thinkers who can create and manipulate images mentally, which is of significant impact to STEM field careers.
3D modelling allows students to learn visually, technologically and digitally, the integration of 3D printing into the classroom and curriculum allows students and staff to actively engage in elevating the level of education around new STEM fields and technologies. Giving students the opportunity to create, innovate and invent and educators the ability to integrate technologies into their classrooms.
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