In the fall, a helpful 3D printing curriculum resource for teachers called learnbylayers was launched by Philip Cotton, one of the first teachers in the United Kingdom to introduce 3D printing in the classroom. Not long after, learnbylayers announced that it was expanding its reseller network with two new distributors, and also reached a distribution agreement with Kodak and its Portrait 3D printer.
learnbylayers is focused on supporting teachers with high-quality 3D printing resources, and to make sure that these resources meet the needs of both teachers and students, all of the lessons are created and checked for quality by classroom teachers. Over a dozen schools in various countries use the site’s 3D printing lessons, which include resources like design challenges, 3D printable example files, and PowerPoint presentations.
As such, teachers who attend STEM’s “Using 3D printers creatively in KS3 and KS4 design and technology” CPD Course will get a free copy of the learnbylayers Intermediate lesson pack (actual price $99.99), which is a follow-up of the beginners course and will support teachers post-training to continue building on their students’ basic 3D printing knowledge and skills. This lesson pack will help teachers fully integrate 3D printing into their curriculum.
According to a learnbylayers post, “Training teachers on 3D printing has been a regular STEM learning course since 2015, with schools from around the UK attending the professional development workshops. In the two day STEM CPD course there are workshops on the theory of 3D printers, where they are used in society, how 3D printers work, Fusion 360 tutorials, dedicated health and safety sessions from CLEAPPS, trouble shooting, hints and tips for successful use in the classroom and analysis of 3D printing projects at KS3 and GCSE.”
The National STEM Learning Center is the UK’s top provider of teacher training, having trained more than 19,000 teachers, technicians, and support staff in STEM courses over the last decade. Those trained then pass on what they’ve learned to over 4 million children in their classrooms.
“I’m extremely proud to have worked with STEM learning for the past three years and recently became an ‘Associate Facilitator of CPD’ with the centre. Being able to help teachers from around the UK start 3D printing in their classes has been the core focus of the course,” said Cotton, the founder of learnbylayers. “Now with the addition of the Learnbylayers, teachers will be equipped with an extra set of resources to use in the classroom. The resources include, lesson plans, teaching powerpoints, assessment tasks, homework tasks, answer sheets, CAD video tutorials, stl files, design challenges and more.”
The STEM course is taught by experienced professionals Cotton and Dave Parry, the Health and Safety consultant at CLEAPPS. Teachers at a government-funded school in the UK who attend the course receive all resources, meals, accommodation, and the course itself free of charge.
The course offers support in getting 3D printers up and running in schools, as well as health and safety for 3D printing in school, how to use the technology to engage creativity in the classroom, and CAD modeling techniques, among other useful tools.
Additionally, learnbylayers has added a first free sample lesson to the STEM learning resources database, so teachers wondering how to introduce 3D printing to students have a starting point. The Intermediate lesson, available to teachers participating in the course or investing in the pack, includes STL files, a PowerPoint presentation, a lesson plan and lesson tasks, homework tasks, and answer sheets, which can be used either as a self/peer assessment tool or as a teacher guide.
Students will learn how 3D printing is changing the way products are made and be able to summarize how the medical industry is using 3D printers, as well as how export a file for 3D printing, model basic CAD features, determine if a design needs support material, and rescale, rotate, and move an object that’s ready for slicing.
Just like all of the other learnbylayers lessons, the Intermediate Lesson Pack is ready to teach with no necessary planning, but is also easy to edit if a teacher wants to change up some things. learnbylayers does this so, as in all of its endeavors, teachers can be empowered to teach 3D printing with no issues.
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