5 good reasons for your school to invest in 3D printers
Although 3D printing has become an increasingly bigger feature in today’s technology landscape, many educators are still unaware of the benefits this technology offers their school. With this in mind, we’ve put together 5 good reasons for your schools to invest in this important technology:
1) In the near future 3D printing is going to be used on a global scale – our pupils need to start getting comfortable with it now
In the coming years, 3D printing is poised to revolutionise manufacturing in a similar way that PC’s revolutionised the media industries in the 90’s. As this technology proliferates and finds its way into more homes and businesses, pupils who become familiar with it now will have a distinct advantage as entrepreneurs and experts in engineering, manufacturing and product design.
2) It’s hard to beat the ‘WOW’ factor that a 3D printer gives you in a lesson
It’s widely agreed that the hands-on use of technologies that have a ‘wow factor’ result in pupils being more engaged in lessons and retaining information better. Joskos has facilitated 3D printer trials in some of our supported schools and the feedback we received shows that this technology has encouraged creativity, critical thinking and pupil involvement in class.
One of our supported schools where we implemented a 3D printer trial is Wells Primary School – a forward-thinking school in Essex with an ‘Outstanding’ rating from Ofsted. Jane Rolfe, their ICT Coordinator writes:
“After curiosity about 3D printing grew at the school, we worked alongside Joskos to implement a 3D printing trial. Our first project was to have the children experience the process of designing and printing their own flash drive cases. This has left them with a lasting memory of how amazing the technological world is. The children were more engaged in solving problems with their designs than I have ever seen them and the realisation that there would be a ‘real’ end product made a vast difference to their learning. Maths, computing, D&T overlapped seamlessly during lessons. Excitement came from all quarters: staff were fascinated to see how it worked and were able to see the benefits for learning for the children; parents engaged both with their children and with the school as their curiosity about the new technology grew. I am looking forward to carrying out other projects linked to history and geography later this term.”
3) It helps to translate abstract maths problems to the physical world
Teachers can use 3D printing to help students get to grips with abstract mathematical problems. As an example, a teacher can take the numbers and angles used in a geometry lesson and ‘feed’ these numbers into a free 3D modelling programme such as Tinkercad before printing out the resulting shape in 3D. Seeing how maths concepts translate into the physical world brings lessons to life and help pupils reach a deeper understanding of these concepts. The low cost of 3D printing means that pupils can afford to make mistakes and learn from them in more meaningful ways.
4) 3D printing is a great fit for the STEM curriculum and other subjects
Unsurprisingly this technology has got a wide range of applications within the STEM curriculum but this does not exclude other subjects. Here are just a few examples:
- Biology – pupils can print out models of cells or organs. Instead of dissecting a frog in class, pupils can now assemble a complete frog!
- Chemistry – teachers and pupils can build models of molecules or personalised equipment for their chemistry lessons.
- Engineering – Rather than starting off prospective engineering students with abstract theories and math-based problem-solving, they can get a taste of the immediate joys of product design by experiencing, first-hand, the entire product design cycle.
- Art and Design – 3D printing is increasingly being utilised in the creative industries. It allows pupils to create objects with textures and geometries that would have been impossible to create using traditional methods.
5) The ‘price barrier’ for schools is lower than ever
Despite the obvious benefits that 3D printing offers schools and its rapid growth in the commercial world, they have been surprisingly slow to adopt this technology. A few years ago, price may have been a barrier but this is no longer the case.
The education-friendly 3D Systems Cube printers are reliable, feature-rich and simple to operate which makes them ideal for education. Joskos will also be happy to arrange a no-obligation demonstration at your school of what these incredible machines can achieve in your classrooms – simply complete the form below.
In the near future, 3D printing will affect many aspects of our lives. It’s already revolutionising the manufacturing industry despite still being in its infancy. We are entering an age where passive consumers are going to become active creators and this is going to be the new paradigm on a global scale. Keeping this in mind, it would not make sense for us to delay integrating this technology into schools. If we do, we risk slowing down the progress and readiness of this generation of learners.
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