As more applications for 3D printing continue to surface, it’s more important than ever to train the future workforce on how to use the technology – this is why so many companies are teaming up with schools to work on developing and introducing 3D printing lesson plans to students. Cincinnati-based technology company Polar 3D has made it clear from the get-go that one of its main goals is to work on introducing students to 3D printing technology.
The company offers an end-to-end solution to the educational sector, complete with software, products, and content meant to educate and train students in today’s additive manufacturing landscape. Last year, its fast-growing, educational Polar Cloud platform officially reached 100,000 3D print jobs; that number now sits at over 248,000.
Polar 3D isn’t slowing down either, and announced this week that it has acquired an interest in global educational technology company Makers Empire, located in Australia.
“We’re thrilled to be joining forces with Makers Empire and welcome their 200,000+ student users to the Polar Cloud. We look forward to delivering Makers Empire’s design tools, including 3D software and over 130 curriculum-aligned lesson plans, to our global community,” said Greg LaLonde, CEO of Polar 3D.
Makers Empire offers complete 3D printing solutions for students in grades K-8, including easy-to-use 3D software, over 130 3D printing curriculum-aligned lesson plans, professional development, a teacher’s dashboard, and analytics to monitor students’ progress; it’s worked tirelessly over the last several years to get 3D printing into schools in Australia and North America. The two companies are teaming up to continue bringing 3D printing technology education into schools.
Jon Soong, Makers Empire CEO, said, “Like Polar 3D, we are passionate about empowering students and teachers with the power of 3D printing to develop design thinking and 21 st century learning skills. The addition of the Polar Cloud to our solution set completes the design cycle and gives our users the ability to control 3D printers from their browsers.”
Through the partnership, both Polar 3D and Makers Empire will expand on their currently offered 3D printing curriculum, including education company STEAMtrax, which Polar 3D acquired from 3D Systems in 2016, Makers Empire’s 3D printing lesson plan library, and other “curated lesson plans from the teaching community and 3rd party publishers.”In addition, thanks to this new partnership, Makers Empire will be included in the GE Additive Education Program (AEP), which was introduced this winter. The two-part educational initiative was designed to foster and develop students’ skills to prepare them for the workforce, and delivers classroom packages to schools all around the world – nearly 200,000 students now have access to 3D printing thanks to the AEP.
Professor Jana Matthews, growth expert and advisory board member at Makers Empire, said, “We are excited to be part of GE’s pioneering initiative. 3D design and print is currently to schools what computing was in the eighties. But in the not too distant future, all schools will have 3D programs like this and 3D design thinking will permeate through the whole curriculum.”
Financial terms of the agreement between Polar 3D and Makers Empire were not disclosed.
Any schools that would like to be notified when applications are available for participating in the GE AEP for the 2018-2019 school year can sign up here.
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