Back in the early 90’s, personal computer use began to become more commonplace in schools throughout the US and Europe. As time went on, this technology moved into the curriculums of schools worldwide. Education leaders decided that computers would be used extensively in our future, and that teaching kids the basics of this technology early on, would be of utmost importance. I’m thankful for the education I got in personal computer use, as it has driven my career, and opened up opportunities in my life. Now a couple of decades later, history is repeating itself in the form of 3D printing.
Only within the past year or so, has 3D printing begun to arrive in elementary, middle and high schools throughout the world. Just like how my computer skills are head and shoulders above that of most individuals from my parents’ generation, due to the fact that I was taught basic computer concepts in school, one day my kids will undoubtedly have skills in 3D modeling, 3D scanning and 3D printing that I probably won’t even be able to grasp. It takes initiative though, in order to get federal, state, and local governments to work together to incorporate new, relatively unknown technology into a school’s curriculum.
One 3D printer manufacturer, BEEVERYCREATIVE is attempting to start this initiative. Through a program that they refer to as “3D in Schools”, they had set out to bring 3D printing technology to every school in Portugal. Now the second step of the project is to spread this idea to other countries, so that more children have access to what could quite easily be just as revolutionary as the personal computer.
“We believe that 3D printing will give rise to a profound revolution in both current production methods and the very way we live, adding value to society and contributing to a better world,” explained Diogo Quental, CEO of BEEVERYCREATIVE. “New generations will be the engine behind this change in paradigm, so we see spreading 3D printing throughout Educational Systems as vital. The successful adoption of this technology may give a country a more competitive edge, contributing in no small part to the well-being of its people.”
To put this initiative into gear, they have outlined a three-step solution, which is as follows:
- Widespread provision of specific technological solutions to schools;
- Adaptation of teaching content;
- Presentation of advantageous commercial solutions.
At this time, BEEVERYCREATIVE is selecting potential partners who can help them along the way. They are looking for help from organizations within the education and technology sectors, as well as those who are suppliers of school equipment, and ask that anyone interested in helping out, contact them via email. They plan on presenting more details on this project at the Lisbon Design Show which runs from October 8-14th, 2014.
What do you think? Should schools worldwide begin introducing 3D printing technologies into their curriculums, or is it still too early to decide if this technology will have a massive impact on our future? Discuss in the 3D in Schools initiative forum thread on 3DPB.com.
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