Although it’s still only July and we are in the deep throes of summer—signified by the lack of school nights and the searing outdoors—it’s also already time to launch into back-to-school planning. While that is certainly not a theme that children want to hear up until the very last minute, for teachers and parents who must rely on planning to get a good start, sometimes it seems as if the process for ‘back to school’ begins almost as soon as the school doors close in the beginning of June.
This is a key time for promos and sales, and the 3D printing industry is no different as a host of products are being geared toward students. We heard from Kidesign at just about this time last year as they were busy rolling out the Kideville curriculum, which is guaranteed to grab anyone’s attention—no matter the age—offered in the form of an enticing game where one oversees the design of a city and takes on the important role of project management. It’s definitely a different take on the types of traditional role playing games that kids are used to, and best of all, in a multi-tiered learning platform, the whole process leads to the 3D printing of structures, combining playing and making.
Heading into this school year, the London-headquartered Kidesign is announcing not only that they’ve made some changes and added features to the Kideville kit—but for a short time you can order them at a discount. Launching the new kit now, Kidesign announces that they are offering it for sale at their online store, and at a reduced price of £199 (equal to about $261 USD) for the starter package. That pricing is the lowest tier, suitable for working with 12 students. Each kit includes:
- Kideville ocean board (70 x 50 cm)
- Teacher’s handbook
- 14 lesson plans for a term-long project
- 20+ instructional lesson videos
- Digital pack with 3D CAD project file
- 12 student packs including unique illustrated brief cards for: infrastructure, health and safety, community, culture
Prices ascend for kits with larger capacity for students (up to 36), and should you wish to buy an extension kit, they are also available online for only £25, including:
- 3 unique illustrated brief cards
- 12 island tiles (9 hexagons and 3 houses)
- 3 project portfolios (50 pages)
One of the greatest indicators of a superior children’s educational product is when it’s interesting to everyone. From the teachers to the parents and most importantly—for the student—when a curriculum is well designed and applied appropriately, intellectual interest and excitement abound. Like many, I have enormous enthusiasm for learning and classes, and love to sign up for new things.
As a parent now to teenagers though, I’ve had to tone this down a bit, exemplified recently when my high-schooler, privileged to be signing up for early college courses, was presented with ideas for this semester’s schedule by his counselor. I was nearly jumping out of my seat with anticipation over the book list for ancient literature, a new type of psychology course, and a host of interesting electives. Reining myself in from choosing all the classes that are not mine to take these days, I (and actually, that is okay) tried to fade into the background a bit as I watched my son engaging in something really new and stimulating education-wise.
I have learned that when I have that ‘this looks like so much fun!’ kind of enthusiasm about a class or a product, however, my kids do too—and that’s exactly how I felt upon seeing what the Kideville educational process is all about. Now, the new kits offer not only lower prices, but also:
- An upgraded and expanded curriculum
- New and improved puzzle board design
- Increased number of student packs in starter kit
- New digital content including video tutorials and downloads
- Improved packaging making it easier for you to store
- New and updated buildings to design
You’ll just want to dive right in, get your hands on those glossy designs, and start playing city planner—not to mention 3D printing operator extraordinaire. Exploring this game also comes on the heels of my daughter telling me that her teacher kept telling her last year that she should be an engineer. I could see how she would show aptitude in that area, but she was asking me what an engineer really does—and of course, the inevitable: Is that really something girls do?
Well, according to the Kidesign team—of course that’s something girls can do, and these kits, show all students what they’re capable of—along with prompting learning in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
“The teacher curates this journey that includes research, ideation, sketching, CAD modelling, 3D printing and presenting,” Melli Ahmad, project coordinator at Kidesign, told 3DPrint.com.”The Kideville educational process is collaborative, cross-disciplinary and fun and inspires students to obtain the skills and knowledge in STEM and pursue careers in design, technology and engineering.”
Based on children’s interests, in Kideville they are each assigned a mission similar to what a real-life engineer would take on, including:
- Background research
- Idea development
- CAD modeling
- 3D printing
- Project presentation
You can also customize the kit, as Kidesign allows you to choose the types of buildings kids will design, whether that’s in transport, energy, or arts. There are a total of 40 different structures built into the game.
“CAD and 3D printing can be a hard subject to teach, but it is a crucial one to raise the quality and modernity of education,” states the Kidesign team.
Five years of development and experience in teaching workshops have led Kidesign to this point, with a product that is now being used by thousands of kids around the world. And whether or not the engineering field is going to be filling up with women is another issue, but we can certainly start all students out with the correct tools, help them learn the skills, and then let them decide what they want to do on their own upon being fully equipped to head out into the world.
“We’re very keen on being a part of the innovative movement that teaches young minds the tools, techniques and experiences they will need as future innovators,” Ahmad told 3DPrint.com.
Kidesign is now also offering a specialized CPD training course, beginning at £175, to help give teachers a boost as they get started instructing their students with the Kideville curriculum, CAD modeling, and 3D printing. Virtual sessions are available, along with onsite classroom visits from Kidesign experts, who can train several teachers all at once. They also offer 3D printers for sale, rent, or as a service. Do you know any students would benefit from these kits? Let’s discuss over in the Kidesign Kideville Games & 3D Printing forum over at 3DPB.com.