NuVu Studio Brings 3D Printing to Classroom: Can Middle And High-School Students be Engineers?

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3D-printed shoe - Sam Ingersoll - NuVu Studio

3D-printed shoe – Sam Ingersoll – NuVu Studio

NuVu Studio seeks to help middle- and high-school students find solutions to real-world problems using 3D printers.  Such an approach has been praised by several educators who claim that the education system in the developed world is outdated, and should rely more ‘doing’ rather than ‘watching’.  Children and teens almost always perform better using a hand-on approach rather than watching a lecturer write on a chalk board.

Co-founders, David Wang, Saeed Arida and Saba Ghole launched this project because they believe that a 13-year-old can use the engineering software and hardware usually reserved for master-degree level students, to produce tangible solutions for the problems they face every day.

NuVu Studio is a school program that allows students from across the country to leave their regular educational programs in their schools, in order to attend NuVu for a period of 3 to 9 months.

The program teaches the students to use engineering software and hardware, including 3D printers, in order to do what actual engineers do. However, according to Arida, in an interview given to TechCrunch, students who then continue their studies at a college level in engineering, can get very frustrated by the amount of theoretical teachings they must go through before reaching the point where they can use the tools they’ve used at the NuVu Studio.

“They’re actually shocked they don’t get to do the same stuff we do in the lab until they are in a master’s program. It can be frustrating for them.”

The NuVu founders seek attention in order to change the education system so that it favors a more hands-on approach. One of the projects, called 100% printed, by students Lizzie Beer and Marcia Zimmerman, focuses on the limitless possibilities of the world of 3D printed food. Taking the most obvious example of the 3D printed pizza, they produced a short animated video underlining issues in mass-production of food, and the possibility of using computers to make food.

Another student, Sam Ingersoll, created a 3D printed shoe, using the scanning capabilities of the Microsoft Kinect.

“My goals for the future are to create a way for a user to upload a scan of their foot, and have a personalized shoe created around based on the scan”, writes Ingersoll, on NuVu Studio’s website.

Sam Ingersoll's 3D-printed shoe - NuVu Studio

Sam Ingersoll’s 3D-printed shoe – NuVu Studio

In NuVu Studio, 3D printers are also used in the world of fashion. Student Charlotte Somerville created a “Jellyfish Hat” using 3D modeling, laser cutters and 3D printers. What do you think? Is this a good way of teaching kids about the future technologies that will be required in the workplace? Discuss in the NuVu Studio thread on 3DPB.com.

 

 

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