Research proves that 3D printers in the classroom make a positive impact on students. 3D printers are getting a lot of interest in the educational area and are often cited as a new catalyst for learning. Surely, this revolutionary technology helps teachers reach a level of student engagement that’s nearly impossible to recreate from a textbook.
However, it’s not only the engagement of students. A report by the Department for Education (DfE) found that 3D printing in colleges provides several compelling benefits for teachers and students. Below are a few examples of using this brilliant technology to reach a high level of student participation.
The Advantages Of Using 3D Printers In The Classroom
3D printers help encourage a new generation of STEM students by combining problem-solving skills with creativity and invention. However, this nifty technology also can support pedagogy across all areas.
Make Learning Active
Students learn best through application and interaction. By doing rather than by listening to a lecture or reading a book. Therefore, 3D printers are a superb way to deploy experiential learning and provide students more hands-on experiences. With 3D printers, teachers can create activities that require academic theories from the theoretical into the practical. By way of instance, in biology lessons, pupils could make an anatomical heart. This active learning also ensures that students retain information with higher ease.
Encourage Real-World Understanding
3D printers assist in putting learning into context so students see the worth of lessons in real-world problem-solving. One trainee instructor has developed a wonderful 3D bee prototype by way of example, which he expects will enable the bee population to rise.
Augment The Educational Process
Students can quickly spot where they have made mistakes, talk about these mistakes with the course, learn from them, and rectify them.
3D printers and layout software inspires imagination and ignites young imaginations. In actuality, the possibilities of what pupils can create through 3D printing are infinite; and it is remarkable how creative kids can be when enabled to turn their 3D designs into actual physical objects!
Instill Spatial Intelligence
Spatial intelligence involves analyzing and interpreting the size, shape, movement, and relationships between objects; it can draw proper conclusions from observing a three-dimensional environment. According to research, using 3D printers in lessons improves a student’s spatial knowledge, with such intellect a significant predictor of achievement in STEM subjects.
Boost Digital Participation
3D printing is a hands-on, enjoyable activity. By integrating this technology into classes, teachers can find fresh approaches to keep students engaged, adding additional value and relevance to classes in a mentally stimulating and fun manner. What is more, 3D printers are applicable throughout schooling levels, making them a natural starting point for the early years of electronic participation.
Help Students Prepare For The Future
The ability to innovate in our electronic world is becoming more important, so encouraging students to research tools that help them think otherwise will prepare them for life after instruction. It is not about technology for technology’s sake. International revenue for 3D-printing spending is estimated to reach $35.4 billion in 2020. In response, schools must use 3D printers to expose students to the soon-to-be broadly used-tech and prepare them.
Boost Computational Believing
Computational thinking and skills such as pattern recognition, decomposition, logical thinking, reasoning, and problem-solving are becoming more significant. 3D printers (and other tools such as micro: bits and Raspberry Pi) help create computational believing vital in the modern program.
Create New Learning Materials
If your school does not have access to specific learning materials, a 3D printer could help you make them immediately!
How Teachers Are Already Using 3D Printers
Incorporating a 3D printer into the classroom is cheap, despite progressively squeezed academic budgets. In reality, 3D printers frequently come in cheaper than computers and laptops. However, most teachers are still reluctant to use one in their lessons.
Ways you can use 3D printers in your classroom:
Build Interactive Maps
3D printers may be used to design and create interactive maps. These can be of real-life modern towns, maps setting out what students think the city of the future will seem like, historical locations (e.g., a Roman settlement), or even literary areas from books students are reading.
Create decorations. Younger children can use 3D printing to make their seasonal decorations.
Recreate Real-Life Structures
Create models of world-famous buildings like the Empire State Building or the Taj Mahal. You can even recreate historical ruins like the Colosseum in all its former glory.
Get musical. Request a course to design and create a new musical instrument.
Think about the tools for a job. For example, you could ask students to print out what they believe an astronaut needs in space.
Bring Back The Dinosaurs
Use a 3D printer to make a sculpture of a T-Rex or other dinosaur.
Build a human skeleton and/or inner organs. Create anatomical models to educate students about the human body.
Build Math Experiments
Design huge experiences to promote mathematical thinking.
Here are some real-life examples of how 3D printing is being used in mathematics education:
- Define Math Concepts
Physical, tactile tools can help pupils understand abstract and complex mathematics concepts. By way of instance, our parabola manipulative allows children to quickly understand how the co-efficient from the quadratic equation (y=ax2 + bx +c) affects the parabola’s shape. This theory remains elusive to nearly all algebra students (and many algebra teachers) because there is no simple tool to convey the idea.
- Inspire Mathematical Wonder
Other tools, rather than describe theories, inspire mathematical curiosity and wonder – that invite students to ask questions and think practically.
One example that includes “mathematical curiosity” is the hyperboloid instrument: a straight line which, when rotated, smoothly glides through a curved hole. You can view these at science museums, but thanks to 3D printers, you might have a palm-sized one in your classroom. When children see this, they always want to know how it works, contributing to the exciting discussion about the math at play.
- Build-Out Full-Scale Math Experiences
Along with building math objects, 3D printers have presented a wonderland of designing elements of larger experiences utilized to facilitate mathematical thinking. An excellent example of this was in the plan of displays at our annual Math Fair (check out highlights from our latest one here), where we filled 56,000 feet with math games and adventures, and a sizable part of them comprised 3D printed components.
For one exhibition, we produced a 3D printed balloon popper, and its codename is Sting Fly. This enabled us to set the finishing touches on a physical display that models the traditional algebra train problem (two trains moving towards each other at different rates, where they meet)? Using remote control chunks in place of trains, students put the Sting Fly where they believe the trains will meet. If they’re right, the balls pass under its wings at precisely the same time, triggering its laser mechanics and automatically popping the balloon.
A student explores conic sections using math manipulatives created by MIND Research Institute on 3D printers. The various colored sections intersect the cones at particular angles, making Hyperbolas, parabolas, circles, and ellipses.
We are using 3D printers in all the above ways to create math hands-on and engaging for pupils outside the classroom and — and we expect that eventually, many more teachers will use them inside their classrooms.
More Educational Benefits
1. Bringing Art Back
Although art is currently making a bit of a comeback with the introduction of STEAM instruction, 3D printing can help catapult it to the very top. With 3D printing, pupils become designers and creators using cutting-edge technologies to visualize and make their imaginations. And of course, the growth pupils will have in their spatial logic skills and 2D to 3D conversion knowledge, which is a predictor of future achievement.
2. Building School Camaraderie
Build ties between different tier levels like one Australian school by partnering up pupils to work on a 3D printing challenge together or use 3D printing to collect funds for a local hospital just like one Canadian school. A rural Australian college had 840 members of the college community to design their own 3D printed blocks that join to make a commemorative school sculpture — an awesome feat! A friendly school-wide 3D printing competition is also a wonderful way to build school morale.
3. Creating Inventors
3D printing technology positions students as creators. Rather than purchasing or consuming someone else’s creations, they become inventors who will identify needs and create solutions. Given the correct tools, support, and resources, what amazing inventions could your students create?
4. Creating Accountable Digital Citizens
IPad revealing Makers Empire 3D design app bedroom layout and remarks by users.
Using 3D printing in the classroom will enable your students to be part of the growing online community dedicated to 3D printing. Especially with Makers Empire, pupils can enjoy and comment on their peers’ designs. Inspiring, insightful regarding online activities and how to become a responsible digital citizen.
5. Engaging Hesitant Learners
3D printing is yet a very new technology that’s not easily available to your ordinary consumer. It’s a wow factor that can involve pupils who would otherwise have nothing to do with their learning.
6. Making Everything Hands-on
Everything could be hands-on. Are you learning about ancient societies? Design and print a version of a mummy or a pyramid. Are you learning about landforms? Design and print a peninsula or a mountain range. You are studying natural disasters? Design and print tools to save you from problems due to natural disasters. The list continues on and on.
7. Solving Real-World Problems
3D printing is a technology that engineers and scientists are using to change the world. Place that same technology into your students’ hands and introduce them to some of the challenges facing your community. They’ll learn compassion, teamwork, and problem solving as you set them loose on a real-world issue. Do not be surprised if they come up with solutions that you had not even imagined.
BONUS: Getting The Trendiest School!
3D printing is remarkable. It gives you a mini manufacturing plant and prototyping tool directly inside your college, which your pupils can use to bring their imaginations to life. Offer your students (and yourself!) the transformative chance to determine what awesomeness they can produce with 3D printing technologies.
Instead of just being a cool bit of technology, 3D printing has meaningful educational benefits and technical applications for the next generation of architects, engineers, creatives, and designers. But, digital education leaders must do more to make sure teachers are comfortable enough with the technology to utilize it successfully in the classroom.