The ul­ti­mate ed­u­ca­tional tool

The Australian Education Reporter - - STEM FOCUS -

3D print­ing is not just a core ed­u­ca­tional tech­nol­ogy across most dis­ci­plines; it is cen­tral to the ed­u­ca­tional sphere.

Here are some of the ba­sic things to know about why and how 3D print­ing can be used to help stu­dents bet­ter un­der­stand and en­gage with course ma­te­rial across the cur­ricu­lum.

3D Print­ers as Ed­u­ca­tional Tools.

In class­rooms, 3D print­ers have two prin­ci­pal uses. The first is to print mod­els that re­late to the ma­te­rial a teacher is pre­sent­ing.

In this ca­pac­ity, a printer’s func­tion is to im­prove stu­dent en­gage­ment through more con­crete in­ter­ac­tions than a text­book or ver­bal lec­ture can pro­vide.

The ele­ment of ex­cite­ment that 3D print­ers have for stu­dents who haven’t been widely ex­posed to them be­fore can fur­ther fa­cil­i­tate this in­creased level of en­gage­ment.

The sec­ond use of a class­room 3D printer is to teach stu­dents the ac­tual skills in­volved in 3D print­ing.

Re­cent sta­tis­tics have shown that roughly 10 per cent of all busi­nesses list buy­ing a 3D printer by 2022 as a ma­jor pri­or­ity.

A con­sid­er­able ma­jor­ity of top man­u­fac­tur­ing com­pa­nies are al­ready us­ing ad­di­tive man­u­fac­tur­ing in their op­er­a­tions.

Since many jobs in the fu­ture will likely de­pend on fa­mil­iar­ity with 3D print­ing, the use of a printer in the class­room to help stu­dents de­velop ba­sic skills with the tech­nol­ogy is a valu­able ed­u­ca­tional ex­pe­ri­ence.

Classes in Which 3D Print­ing Can Be Used.

In a STEM class, such as chem­istry or bi­ol­ogy, a 3D printer can help cre­ate phys­i­cal mod­els that stu­dents can see and touch to gain a greater un­der­stand­ing of sci­en­tific con­cepts. In math classes, 3D prints can be use­ful in help­ing stu­dents gain greater in­sights into com­plex ge­ome­tries.

In his­tory classes, repli­cas of ob­jects and arte­facts from dif­fer­ent his­tor­i­cal pe­ri­ods can be cre­ated right in the class­room, pro­vid­ing an en­gag­ing learn­ing ac­tiv­ity for stu­dents.

Geo­graphic ter­rains and fea­tures are easy to repli­cate as 3D mod­els, al­low­ing stu­dents to bet­ter un­der­stand them.

Even art and de­sign classes are able to use three-di­men­sional mod­els to bring projects to life.

Ul­ti­mately, a 3D printer isn’t sub­ject-spe­cific.

3D print­ing is use­ful in prac­ti­cally any class and should be thought of as a ubiq­ui­tous teach­ing tool that can en­hance the ed­u­ca­tional ex­pe­ri­ence for stu­dents.

If your classes don’t al­ready in­clude

3D print­ing tech­nol­ogy, con­sider get­ting a class­room 3D printer that will help your pupils learn and ex­plore in new and ex­cit­ing ways.

For more in­for­ma­tion visit:

www.me3d.com.au.

En­gag­ing stu­dents in STEM.

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