As regular readers of this blog know, I am quite interested in the educational applications of 3D printing. Our timing couldn’t be be better. Our talk on the topic at the CUE Conference drew so many people that every seat and floor space was filled with folks interested in the topic, and we were told that there were a lot of people standing in the doorway listening. (Thank goodness the Fire Marshal didn’t come.) Afterwards, one attendee sent me this message in an e-mail “I attended your presentation at CUE about 3D printing in the Classroom. Awesome lecture! Thank you for blowing my mind and I look forward to your upcoming book.”
This is typical of numerous comments we’ve received. In fact, in the over 30 years I’ve been speaking at educational technology conferences, I have never received so many rave comments.
I think the reason for the comments has less to do with us than with the topic. 3D printing is going mainstream, and educators need all the help they can get to incorporate these amazing devices into the curriculum. One thing we have worked very hard to do is connect 3D printing projects both to the Next Generation Science Standards, and to the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics. But even if you are in a state that has not adopted these standards, our curricular connections still apply.
The upcoming book mentioned in the comment I received will be available in June, 2014. Rather than a solo effort, it is the product of two additional authors, Norma Thornburg and Sara Armstrong. This collaboration was designed to maximize the practicality of the book for educators. In addition to exploring the larger world of 3D printing in general, we identify lots of free software kids and teachers can use to make incredible designs, provide tips on how to choose a printer for the classroom, and then provide a series of projects with detailed assistance for those just starting out. The result is a book chock-full of really cool stuff of value in education across many grade levels.
Of course, with ISTE coming up, we plan on having copies there for folks to see. Also (while we won’t have the book with us yet), Sara and I are planning on attending the Maker Faire in San Mateo, California on May 16-17, so please say Hi!
Those getting started in the field may benefit from more assistance, and we will gladly fly anywhere to conduct workshops to help you unleash the power of this tool in your school or district.
To get more information, just fill out the comment box below and we will get back in touch with you right away! We still have some workshop days open this year, and if your staff development budget will zero out at the end of June, now you know a great place to use any of those funds!