While there have been questions, shakeups and layoffs, amidst a great deal of restructuring going on at MakerBot, the company, a subsidiary of Stratasys, has not forgotten their promises on the educational front amidst all that grownup, real-life corporate brouhaha.
Always with a strong commitment and connection to their maker community, users, and those who may be in need of accessibility, MakerBot is famous for their 3D printing challenges, specialized MakerBot Innovation Labs, and continual momentum within schools and universities.
With their new Buy Two, Give One promotion, it’s a win-win feel good for everyone. Customers who purchase two MakerBot Replicator desktop 3D printers at once, with MakerCare, will be able to donate one refurbished MakerBot Replicator to the school of their choice. Schools can also use this promotion as a buy two, get one free for their own locations.
If this is something you are interested in participating in, here’s a list of the businesses offering the promotion:
- Best Buy
- Home Depot
By having 3D printers donated directly to schools, MakerBot will further their goals in making 3D printing accessible to those who may not have the tools otherwise. They offer free educational resources which not only excite the students, but the teachers as well as they are given comprehensive tools to engage their pupils in all that the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) agenda entails. Everyone learns together in many cases within the schools, and the 3D printing labs tend to be a very popular place for students to want to visit.
Not only are students–and teachers–having fun with the technology, but kids are learning the skill sets that they will need once they graduate if they are interested in STEM-driven careers. While companies like MakerBot have the right idea with providing the accessibility for 3D printing within schools, the push is even bigger from big manufacturing companies who realize the dire need for graduates with digital design and 3D printing know-how.
The program is already being implemented in schools such as Manning Elementary School in Manning, South Carolina. Teachers like Johnson Smith definitely understand the multiple levels on which 3D design and 3D printing can be used to teach, as they step out of the classroom and embrace the community too.
“We are a rural school with 84% of our student population qualifying for free/reduced lunch,” Smith explained on Thingiverse. “The Maker Bot Printer will be housed in our computer lab. The lab is open for all classes.”
Currently, they are working on a project to create 3D printed models of a large building in their community. They aren’t just learning a new technology and managing a school project, but students are also working with community members and using real-world applications while completing their studies. In Smith’s class, the students are actually trying to convince local officials to let them convert the vacant building which they are 3D printing a prototype of into a fun park for the town.
While it’s all too often that educational facilities receive 3D printing equipment without a lot of training or support on any level, that’s not so in the case of this promotion or how MakerBot handles integrating their products into schools. Currently, they have a variety of resources on the MakerBot Education Resource Center. Their ‘MakerBot in the Classroom’ handbook offers a wide change of educational tools from stories to videos and challenges–for both teachers and students.
The company also offers the MakerBot Starter Lab, which they refer to as an all-in-one product that is scalable and easy to put into place in schools. Also offered is the MakerBot Innovation Center, for those requiring a 3D printing hub on even a larger scale.
MakerBot will also be giving away 3D printers through social media to promote Buy Two, Give One. They will be soon be giving away three refurbished MakerBot Replicator desktop 3D printers, one each on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. More details will follow on social media regarding those giveaways.
Will you be participating in this awesome offer? Let us know in the MakerBot 3 for 2 forum thread on 3DPB.com.