Hungarian schools aren’t just stepping up education in general, they are serious about 3D printing, and about to outdo many countries if their ambitious plan succeeds. With their ‘3DTECH in Schools’ program, the plan is not just to get kids interested in technology, but to put a 3D printer in every Hungarian educational institution within three years.
For this program, three of the most important Hungarian 3D printing companies have come together for the 3DTECH program:
- FreeDee Printing Solutions: distributor and service provider, founder of the 3D Academy, provides unique educational programs
- Leopoly: serves as developer of the world famous online 3D modeling software
- CraftUnique: develops and manufactures CraftBot 3D printers and CraftWare slicer
All three of these companies will be seeing the program through to success, allowing for many schoolchildren to develop new skillsets needed for the future with careers in mind. Currently, 10 more schools are receiving 3D printers, which due to this initiative will make a total of 21 so far. And counting.
“There’s an indisputable need for raising technological awareness during the education of the next generations,” said Csaba Fazekas, CEO, CraftUnique.
And while so often is the case that schools receive grants to buy a 3D printer or even set up a lab but have little organizational plan accompanying the technology, the 3DTECH in Schools program is geared toward true success from the beginning. As the schools take possession of new hardware, the program is geared toward ensuring that all involved in the classroom setting use 3D printing to its potential. This means seeing that children’s interest and skill levels develop appropriately, as well as allowing for teachers to enjoy an efficient curriculum for instructing them, as well as understanding the technology themselves—often an obstacle as 3D design and printing are still new to many around the world.
“The program provides a unique opportunity to integrate 3D printing in the curriculum so that it efficiently supports educational goals and the development of students,” said Zoltán Kárpáti, CEO, Leopoly.
And there’s nothing better to get enthusiasm and creative juices flowing than a challenge. With that in mind, Hungarian 3D printing specialist FreeDee Printing Solutions created a competition called ‘MakerBot in the Classroom.’ Winners received 3D printers, with 11 schools in the running to win MakerBots. Another contest was held six months earlier, all as a part of the mission to help with development of skills as well as measuring the readiness of schools.
“With 413 entries the results surpassed all expectations,” reported FreeDee Printing Solutions in their latest press release. “Encouraged by the success of the campaign the team decided that they have to keep up the good work.”
Just since they began receiving 3D printers in the past two months, much progress has been highlighted:
- Many students have made visual aids, including motivational assets like prizes and school emblems.
- Vocational students have 3D printed jigs and parts.
- Students of all ages, even primary levels, have been using design tools via TinkerCAD, Blender and Thingiverse.
- A number of schools started their own public awareness campaigns by visiting other schools and showcasing the technology during open days.
“The 3DTECH in Schools program puts no extra burden on the educators or the educational system. Our goal is to make Hungary realize an incomparable and fully comprehensive educational program in 3D technologies,” said György Simó, CEO of FreeDee Printing Solutions.
The focus of this program is an interdisciplinary one, as that’s where the team sees 3D printing offering the greatest advantage. That would seem to be an astute observation considering the wide range of fields and industries 3D printing is currently affecting, with innovations sprouting up everywhere, offering new conveniences and products around the world. In using the 3D printers in the classroom, students are able to perform complex problem-solving, find creative solutions, and much more during the design process—where they take a concept to fruition, resulting in a physical object.
“The cherry on the top of it is that all children are truly thrilled by creative activities that actually provide a tangible outcome,” relayed Freedee Printing Solutions.
All of the 3D printing companies involved state that this streamlined program is easy to launch, whether being instituted by a central entity or further, future sponsors. It’s an ambitious mission for sure, to put a 3D printer in every school—and hopefully they will serve as a role model for countries worldwide as we all witness their current and future success with 3DTECH in Schools. Do you think they will succeed in their plan? Discuss over in the 3D Printers for all Hungarian Schools forum over at 3DPB.com.