Thousands of educators throughout the U.S. are embracing 3D printing as a new way to teach 21st century skills and prepare students for the jobs of the future. Taking the first steps to introduce students to 3D printing, however, can be challenging. MakerBot conducted in-depth research this spring to better understand how to help educators incorporate 3D printing in classrooms. The research shows that acquiring 3D design skills is a major hurdle for educators and there is no single resource to address this need.
To fill that gap, MakerBot today published a handbook designed to provide educators with a wide variety of ideas, activities and projects to get started with 3D printing. Titled MakerBot in the Classroom: An Introduction to 3D Printing and Design, the handbook includes an introduction to 3D printing and a range of hands-on 3D design lesson plans. MakerBot in the Classroom is available as a free digital download for registered MakerBot customers and a sample project chapter is available free to anyone who registers on MakerBot.com. Additionally, MakerBot launched a new MakerBot Education Resource Center with further ideas and resources to support the integration of 3D printing in the classroom, such as real-world MakerBot stories, videos, challenges for teachers and students, and more.
“3D printing is a powerful tool in the classroom and provides engaging experiences that motivate students to excel. 3D printing can help teach many of the 21st century skills that employers are looking for, such as STEAM literacy, collaboration, problem-solving and applying knowledge to the real world,” said Jonathan Jaglom, CEO of MakerBot. “We’re excited to launch MakerBot in the Classroom to help even more educators and students discover the power of 3D printing to create original designs. This handbook is part of our broader MakerBot Education initiative, which aims to provide teachers, professors, librarians, and students with access to the resources and tools they need to embrace 3D printing. We will continue to work together with educators to build out the leading MakerBot 3D Ecosystem to address their specific needs.”
A recent survey of teachers commissioned by MakerBot showed that 83 percent of teachers using MakerBot 3D Printers empowered their students to design their own objects as opposed to having them print existing designs. This requires educators to teach 3D design and introduce students to the software that enables them to take an idea and turn it into a 3D printable design. Lesson plans and project ideas were among the most frequent requested resources to help educators get started, and MakerBot in the Classroom fills those needs.