The key to making kids want to learn is through connecting at their level, discovering their interests, and inspiring them to grow. We all know that school isn’t much fun if it’s just rote learning taught by a robotic teacher who is just as bored as the kids are. Education certainly doesn’t have to be about copying sentences and formulas from a blackboard—it can be vibrant, exciting—and about doing. In the case of Dremel’s latest curriculum package though, it’s about making.
With their new ecosystem and the Dremel Dreams program, both students and teachers alike can get excited, get up from behind those desks, and innovate on numerous levels. As the 3D printing community and industry have advanced, so has its involvement in education. And as 3D printing labs begin to show up in more schools, teachers are no longer left on their own when it comes to figuring out how to operate the hardware and software, teach it to the students, as well as learning how to perform maintenance when issues arise.
A structured 3D specific curriculum, complete with matching design software, allows for the proper integration of this new technology into the classroom, and we’ve been following as they began working closely last September with MyStemKits who was partnering with Florida State University in educational programs.
Another program and partnership that we’ve followed between Dremel and Sprout plays a role here too, as the Sprout by HP 3D scanning solution is also available as an additional workstation, should schools want to offer even more the computing platform which melds a 3D camera and scanner, and offers an array of extra tools.
Again, here, the expertise of those well-versed in creating these curricula has been mined at FSU, resulting in detailed lesson plans that integrate 3D printing into the classroom. Dremel is definitely going in the right direction here, not just encouraging teachers and students, but also offering a structure that will create confidence and inspire enthusiasm as they learn about the technology and begin making things on their own, via Dremel Dreams.
The program includes ten curriculum-based lesson plans, corresponding 3D model kits, and best of all—the Dremel 3D Idea Builder printer, which was one of the first 3D printers to receive UL safety certification, and is famous for its fully enclosed workspace designed for classrooms.
Dreams, according to the Dremel team, also stands for the following goals:
- Design materials
- Research new ideas
- Enhance curriculum
- Activate imaginations
- Motivate each other
- Shape a better future
“Using the 3D-specific lesson plans when we study alternative energy gives my students the opportunity to enhance their understanding of abstract concepts,” said Susan Nichol, Project Lead the Way and technology skills teacher at Holmes Junior High School in Mt. Prospect, Ill. “The Dremel 3D Idea Builder is a plug-and-play tool for my classroom that enables students to test and explore 3D printing as independent thinkers.”
Autodesk’s modeling software is a big part of what makes the Dreams program so user-friendly for everyone involved, allowing for a streamlined platform when students just developing their skills can begin practicing design and engineering skills while also experiencing the delight—and empowerment–of making their very own 3D models.
What really sets this program apart as well is the one-on-one support offered via customer support, and mentors. This is offered through the phone, Skype, online chat, or email—along with an invaluable webinar training program mean to offer seamless classroom integration.
“Partnerships with like-minded organizations, such as Autodesk and HP, enable us to deliver an unparalleled STEM experience for teachers and students,” said George Velez, manager of Dremel 3D Education. “The 3D printing technology is important, but equally important are the resources and support we provide for educators.”
Founded in 1934 and famous as a leader in manufacturing tools, it was only logical that Dremel would be interested in manufacturing 3D printers. Their thoughtful evolution into offering products and tools for schools is quite impressive though in its thoroughness, and a real win for all the students who are lucky enough to have the Dremel Dreams program in their schools. Discuss your thoughts on Dremel’s continued foray into the educational arena in the Dremel Dreams 3D Printing Curriculum forum over at 3DPB.com.
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