Teachers, no matter what discipline or age group they work with, share two major goals: to educate, and to inspire. The more idealistic among them may believe that the two are synonymous, and while they can be, they certainly aren’t always. I was less than inspired by algebra, for example, though literature, art, and many aspects of science made me light up. If students are lucky, they’ll find at least one thing that inspires them over the course of their educational years, but that sadly isn’t always the case. Many graduate without feeling like they’ve learned anything that will alter the courses of their lives. It’s not their fault; if anyone or anything is to blame, it’s dull, outdated curricula and lack of access to the tools necessary for engaging students in relevant technology and crucial skills.
At the moment, 3D printing is one of the most relevant areas of technology, and also one that excites and engages young people the most. However, it’s generally not cheap, and that means that many schools lack the funds to purchase the necessary equipment for teaching students this vital-to-the-future skill. New Matter has set out to remedy this with their Educate and Inspire Grant, which they announced back in January. The grant involved $200,000 in 3D printers and 3D printing supplies, to be donated to 100 schools chosen through an application process. Now, New Matter has announced the winning recipients, which were picked out of a pool of over 450 applications from 45 states.
“We were overwhelmed by the quality of applications we received,” said Steve Schell, CEO of New Matter. “The caliber of our applicants is a testament to the potential that innovative teachers see in 3D printing. We’re excited to build a community of passionate and imaginative educators who can now use the MOD-t to inspire their students.”
The MOD-t, New Matter’s flagship printer, was designed to be ideal for educational settings. It’s quiet, easy to use, and very affordable at $399. Each of the 100 schools will receive three of the printers, plus 15 spools of 1kg filament and 15 additional print surface plates. The winners, a list of which can be found here, include elementary, middle and high schools, plus a few universities.
“We strongly believe that 3D printing will cultivate a lifelong love of STEAM subjects in students, and we are incredibly proud to participate in that experience,” said Schell. “3D design fosters creativity in young learners and the MOD-t is the tool that brings students’ imaginations to life. We will continue to work with educators to ensure that they are getting all the resources they need to integrate the MOD-t into the classroom.”
If your school wasn’t chosen as a grant recipient, there are still plenty of ways to incorporate New Matter’s 3D printing technology into your classroom very affordably. The company offers several bundles and discounts for educators; for more information, you can email them at firstname.lastname@example.org or check out their website. Discuss in the 3D Printers & New Matter Grant forum over at 3DPB.com.