My STEM Kits is continuing to evolve even during the Kickstarter process. When we reported on their Feb.2 launching of their campaign, it was intimated that the innovative company which integrates educational projects and models with 3D printing might also be able to offer free digital files to their supporters.
Now, ready to up the ante on Kickstarter, co-founders Laron Walker and Hannah Olson have indeed announced that in hopes of raising further support for their Kickstarter campaign, they will provide a separate kit of digital files to every supporter who pledges $20 or more.
While My STEM Kits is a 3D printed product that provides educational manipulatives for K-12 education in the belief that tangible visuals are the best learning tools, they also understand the contemporary value of offering digital files for parents and teachers to accentuate their product, as well as learn about using the files to produce their own items independently for 3D printing and added learning.
Created by a group of well-rounded individuals versed in education, art, technology, and business, My STEM Kits are meant to offer a combination of kits and curriculum presenting a wide range for learning within the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines.
With a multitude of kits and studies to choose from, students experience exposure to experimental design, complex math and physics problems, and spatial thinking, as well as assembly and comprehensive interaction — just to name some of the elements they encounter. Curiosity regarding lab projects is also encouraged with projects like the Lab in a Box, which involves levers and mechanics.
The kits are designed by teachers and each curriculum is designed by experts. Featuring a partnership with Florida State University and their CPALMS program, which is an online toolbox of educational products and resources for students and teachers, the My STEM Kits team works with CPALMS constantly to ensure quality of their products and files, as well as joining HipScience and using their Mantis Sensors to accentuate a contemporary scientific teaching style. With their wide variety of 3D printed materials, two tiers are available:
- Kit BASIC — Plastic parts and lesson plans.
- Kit PLUS — Plastic parts; additional lab supplies like meter sticks, pencils, ball-bearings, lenses, and more; and items for the rocket kit and launcher.
With nearly 30 kits to choose from, now supporters will be able to expand even further educationally with the free digital files to go along with the 3D printed educational kits. So far, one digital file has been released for both science and math, with a 3D printed file for a moth and another to create a ‘simple quadrat’ from #2 pencils. They encourage teachers to use the files for learning about and examining ecosystems and what’s happening within a specific area, using the quadrat as a tool. Math can be used within the project to discuss genetics and statistics.
Students can study ‘populations’ and make predictions as well as discussing natural science issues like camouflage and natural selection, covering genetics and basic biology. They can also spend time during the lessons discussing long-term implications in terms of genetics and ongoing progeny.
Engaging students is the whole point, and the integration of math and science rolled into one is a good example of how they ‘co-mingle’ STEM education disciplines to inspire and get the juices flowing intellectually. The well-rounded, interdisciplinary plans are the perfect way to offer students a comprehensive education, and are highly recommended to homeschooling parents as well, who will likely find these tools highly attractive.
“That’s what’s great about our kits,” says Hannah Olsen. “They’re truly engaging, which makes them perfect for informal learning environments as well. If you homeschool your children, or are running a summer camp, library, or afterschool program, these kits will make STEM learning fun for everyone.”
This is only the start for My STEM kits as they have hundreds of ideas which will be coming to fruition in the future. The Kickstarter campaign is slated to end on February 28, with a goal of $25K, and the team is hoping to use the collected funds for completing final details in development of the kits and putting the finish touches on writing the curriculums.
A great project to support, My STEM kits are meant to take hands-on learning and fun to the classroom as well as fitting into the teacher or homeschool budget more affordably than usual. Is this a Kickstarter campaign you have funded or are thinking about supporting? How do you think these 3D printed educational products can add to the classroom or homeschool education as compared to products on the market already? Tell us your thoughts in the My STEM Kits Offering Free Digital Files forum over at 3DPB.com.