One of the most predictable questions an adult will ask a child in making conversation is what they want to be when they grow up. Kids come up with such a variety of surprising answers—some inspirational, some comical, and some are extremely ambitious. Apparently though, many of us begin pondering what we are going to do ‘for the rest of our lives’ at a very early age. School plays a big part in our interests too. Students may have a favorite teacher who inspires them, or they may attend a series of classes that they enjoy and even become passionate about.
The key is to provide young people with as many tools as possible, opening their minds before they are given impressions from so many others, often negative, regarding more challenging subjects like math and science. With a push toward offering more incentives to explore a STEM curriculum, schools in the UK such as Hanwell Fields Community School strive to motivate their students as fully as possible, and companies like Laser Lines are helping them achieve their goals.
With the gift of a MakerBot 3D printer from Oxfordshire-headquartered Laser Lines, everyone involved at Hanwell Fields will be exposed to the benefits of 3D design and 3D printing. Students can design their own 3D objects, refine them as needed, and fabricate them on site. As we have seen in following many different 3D printing efforts in schools, the enthusiasm is contagious for both teachers and students. STEM learning is being encouraged with such studies too, with lessons and problem-solving within the 3D realm reaching into science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
“This is a real opportunity for our pupils to design items, use their maths and science knowledge in new ways and see their imagination come to life through prototyping models,” said Headteacher Harry Paget-Wall Collins. “I want to thank Laser Lines for this kind donation and we look forward to sharing with them all the exciting new work that our pupils are now able to create.”
MakerBots are in use around the world in industrial settings, design firms, households, and over 5,000 classrooms today. The desktop 3D printers’ size and easy setup make them an especially good fit for student labs, along with impressive reliability and support, as MakerBot itself continues to focus on education.
“The Makerbot model we gave to Hanwell Fields Community School is the perfect way to introduce children to the concepts of 3D printing,” says Dan Curtis from the Design Engineering Group at Laser Lines. “It is easy to use and can produce a vast array of parts quickly and cheaply. There is a large community of people online to help you get started.”
Curtis also touches on the scarcity of engineering graduates emerging today, with the problem beginning in elementary and middle-school years. So many of the careers that can arise out of a love for STEM learning are also still male-dominated, so younger female students are being encouraged to participate in such studies around the world, along with looking up to older students who can mentor them, joining clubs, and more.
“We know that there is a 20,000 annual shortfall of engineering graduates in this country, and experts are mostly agreed that the problem begins in the early years. 3D printing is a great way to get children interested in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) subjects early in their lives,” continues Curtis. “Hopefully some of the students in this class will go on to become product engineers of the future.”
What do you think of this news? Let us know your thoughts; join the discussion of this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com.[Source/Images: Laser Lines]