More offerings continue to pop up for school-age 3D printing education.
As more educators recognize the value of introducing students of all ages to 3D printing, the companies making the 3D printers are also coming together to make it easier to get their products into the classroom. Sometimes these initiatives mean donated equipment, but paid options to enhance the curriculum are becoming wider spread. These curriculum-focused offerings include lesson plans as well as those specific to certain providers.
XYZprinting is taking a new bundling approach for 3D printers used in K-12 STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, mathematics) education.
The company has perhaps one of the broadest portfolios in 3D printing, and education is a key part of its strategy. They continue to increase the focus on education — which is, happily, rising overall — with this week’s announcement.
The bundle program includes a free 3D printer with purchase of the XYZprinting K-12 STEAM curriculum. The 3D printers included are of equivalent value for each $500 curriculum purchase.
“For K-5 schools, XYZprinting will be giving away their best-selling 3D printer, the da Vinci Jr 1.0 3-in-1, from the award-winning da Vinci Junior line, equipped with 3D scanning capabilities and a laser engraver module upgradability. The printer is valued at $499.95.
For Grade 6-8 and 9-12 schools, XYZprinting will be giving away the da Vinci 1.1 Plus, valued at $499.95. This printer boasts a large build volume of 7.9” x 7.9” x 7.9”, 5″ color touch screen, and is compatible to print with materials like ABS and PLA.”
Grade levels (geared toward the US educational system, it seems) include K-5, grades 6-8, and grades 9-12. Each curriculum was designed to align with the K-12 Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).
Developed by the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences, the NGSS began with the 2011 release of A Framework for K-12 Science Education, which is said to:
“The Framework provides a sound, evidence-based foundation for standards by drawing on current scientific research—including research on the ways students learn science effectively—and identifies the science all K–12 students should know.”
Fitting 3D printing into the science students should know is a strong step toward normalizing the technology.
Overall, 40 XYZprinting STEAM lesson plans are offered for K-12, available as annual subscriptions. XYZprinting also has a Free Projects page for teachers to share their own 3D printing projects with other community members.
For teachers who are themselves new to 3D printing, having lesson plans specifically created around a particular 3D printer can help ease their own learning curve as they prepare to introduce the technology to their students.