With every passing year, people can notice a great shift in education. All that happens because of the rapid technological development that took our world by storm.

With the constant technological development and globalization of our world, many professions have to keep up with these changes. Teachers are no exception – Modern Teacher: Skills and Methods to Improve the Educational Process. 

Though there are many disagreements on this topic, classrooms also change their look getting much more technologically advanced. Soon modern students will not see customary for us classrooms as schools will adopt completely new requirements to them and up-and-coming technologies located there. Wondering what innovative technologies that have recently appeared will soon reside in the future classrooms? Make sure to check out this post – Technologies That Will Define the Classroom of the Future.

The implementation of new approaches as well as learning materials is a necessity as the society does not stand in one place. One of such devices that can take a decent place in the modern classrooms is a 3D printer. This comparatively new thing can become a real boost for both STEM subjects as well as many others and positive experience of its use only confirms this fact.STEM-illustration1STEM educational framework has become popular in the UK and USA for the several last years. Standing for Science, Technology, Engineering and Manufacturing, it has also undergone some changes.stemlogo Modern scientists and educators who deal with STEM agree that this approach lacks one more subject. According to Einstein, all subjects are the branches of one tree and if to speak about STEM disciplines, they couldn’t be developed to such a great extent as they are now without creativity – the main characteristic that can be achieved only through Arts. Most of the modern companies today look for people who are able to think outside the box, solve problems and be inventive. Such features can be developed only at the lessons of Arts. Therefore, many modern educators encourage to focus on the STEAM framework where Arts will be an indispensable part of the education.2Considering the viewpoints of many researchers 3D printing can contribute to the development of creativity and imagination of students. But what is 3D printing exactly and how can it be used at the lessons?

3D printing is a process of layered 3D objects creation. To make an object you should have a special digital file created using the modeling software or an already designed one. Another possibility to get a file is to use a 3D scanner that will measure an object.232

The printer uses plastic filament of various colors to make up the assigned object. Most of the students, who see the creation process are mesmerized with that as they can hardly see anything similar in their ordinary life – that is a great motivation and encouragement for studying.3Naturally, STEM subjects are closely connected with measuring, designing, building etc. No wonder a 3D printer will be a great addition as well as a visual assistant for them. For example, at the math lessons, they can use their knowledge of geometry and measuring skills to build a proper thing, while any new hand-made piece of art can be now substituted with a 3D model created by the printer.

Any item that can be held in the hands is a much better visual aid than simple images. You can not only see but also feel the shape, size, unique structure of the item and it carves in the memory for a longer period of time if not forever. There are schools that even printed the 3D map of the campus for students to orient better.mlc3D_010312_Final-1

In general, 3D printing can be used at any lessons as visual materials can be helpful anywhere. But if to consider STEM subjects, such a printer can and even should be available for learners as it can replace thousands of expensive models, images, photos and other visual materials. In addition, it is perfect for project-based learning and keeping students engaged and interested.4So why should teachers overcome their fear to use 3D printing in education? The answer is simple: there is a number of benefits offered by this device. Here are some of them:

1. Encouragement to invent

Modern educational goals have undergone some changes and contemporary students should make a shift from being consumers to becoming producers or providers of information. 3D printing can be a very good boost as it encourages to imagine, create and invent something new to receive a physical representation of your intention.

2. Revival of Arts significance

As it was mentioned before it is not enough to pay attention only to STEM subjects to bring up a creative and broad-minded personality. Arts must be an important constituent part of the education. 3D printing is a great device to fulfill students’ imagination in life and by doing so develop their artistic talent in different directions.

3. Better engagement

From time to time students get tired and lose motivation. That is why teachers should always look for ways how to interest and encourage students. The 3D printer can be a real “wow” factor for youth as today it is still rarely met in ordinary life. By introduction of this device, a teacher can re-engage his learners and give a new boost for studying.611wer

4. Inspiration for communication

Making different models pupils start discussing and evaluating them. This communication can be rather beneficial as students practice their oral and written speech and hint each other how to make their creations much better.

5. Creation of useful items

Many things that can be useful in everyday life can be created with the help of a 3D printer. For example, a pupil, who is going to another city for a holiday, can opt for a 3D map of this city not to get lost there and meet the most of being there. It can be made at the geography lesson or used at the lesson of the foreign language to improve speaking competence.

6. Encouragement of cooperation

3D printing can be an exciting procedure for both younger and senior students. That is why the idea to partner up pupils of different grades can be useful for developing an ability to work in pairs, groups, and cooperation between adults and children. Any experience of cooperation is necessary for achieving long-term goals and 3D printer can contribute to this.

7. Solution of the global problems

There is a variety of problems that are faced by modern scientists and can’t be solved. It may sound like a challenge but a teacher can offer some of them to his or her pupils. Using 3D models they can manage to find some extraordinary solutions to them and, what is most interesting, kids’ mind even can offer the only right solution too – why not try that?VES9-41

3D printing is another great invention that has changed our presentation of the world. It is a kind of device that seems more magical than a technical one. Such printers have found their place in many institutions and educational ones are among them.

Sometimes school budgets might be so tight that it seems challenging to get the necessary funds to bring 3D printing into the classroom. 3D printers might seem like an expensive technology but there are affordable options out there. Companies that sell 3D printers typically offer educational discounts to schools or have an affordable option in support of introducing the technology to students. 

By Gomeasure3D blog

3D printing is incredibly useful for STEM subjects allowing students to implement their visual imagination in reality. That will happen only due to accurate measurements and accounting so such a printer will give a desirable result only after hard work – a great stimulus to study better!

Using 3D Printing in STEM Education 2017

Also published on Medium.

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