MakerClub, a UK-based 3D printed robotics organization, has received a large award to explore educational opportunities.
The group was awarded £80,000 (USD$126,000) to perform an experiment in new methods of teaching robotics. The new approach leverages 3D printing heavily, as well as online training.
The founder of MakerClub, Simon Riley, explains:
We’re creating a collaborative online learning platform that works with companion robotic projects. Robots are fantastic cross curricular learning tools and through 3D printing, we can deliver them globally.
Rather than the usual ‘step-by-step’ construction guide, we want to create a ‘living’ environment where older ‘makers’ can teach younger through streaming video and live chat, people can upload their own robots for sale and we can play host to intuitive building instructions that are gamified and allow for wiki-style updates by their creators.
Our dream would be that someone with no tech experience could use our system and gain the equivalent of a degree in robotics over the course of a year - we hope schools and home learner worldwide will benefit from this research.
That’s the thing with 3D printing. If you can imagine it, you can make it - almost immediately. This is quite different than the past, where “making” of things often had to wait. In today’s world, technology permits you to instruct a machine to make your object, while you can continue learning more topics in parallel.