Tinkerine is not only a leader in 3D printer manufacturing in Canada, but they are also gaining momentum as a driving force in the integration of 3D printing into education. With the methodical development of Tinkerine U, Tinkerine has been moving forward continually in their efforts to provide educators with the tools they need to produce ‘3D printing literate’ graduates.
We’ve been reporting on and watching the evolution of Tinkerine U unfold since summer of last year when the program was announced, and then in the fall when they announced and began their Tinkerine U pilot program that ran through January. Tinkerine U is about a comprehensive package not only of 3D printing tools but also a comprehensive ‘package’ in terms of uniting and educating school administration officials, teaching professionals and faculty, and passing on new skills to a host of students who are eager to learn and create. The end result is to have a world full of innovative individuals versed and skilled in digital design and 3D printing.
Putting these efforts forward, Tinkerine caters to the STEAM agenda, with a focus on science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics. Tinkerine is right in line with many of the larger technological and manufacturing businesses, educational groups, and governments worldwide that have a strong and dedicated focus on seeing students graduate with skills that will allow them to fill many of the vacant spaces in lucrative jobs that require the skills provided by an education with a strong STEAM curriculum. Skills in 3D design and 3D printing are a major part of that curriculum currently, as the cutting edge new technology and products associated with it are transforming so many industries — and the skill involved can integrate so many disciplines.
Tinkerine’s pilot program involved more than 250 members worldwide, in an initiative to work in both classrooms and online settings, as well as working with teachers to develop their comprehensive materials. Now, Tinkerine is launching Tinkerine U full force, offering availability of their products globally for educators and consumers.
“We saw that no other 3D printer manufacturer was committed to providing adequate levels of training and support for 3D printing enthusiasts, especially educators. So we made the strategic decision to invest in training and content, both now and going forward, so that we can capture our share of the $86 billion education technology market and the broader $122 billion online learning industry,” said Tinkerine CEO Eugene Suyu, regarding the official launch which will offer not only training in 3D printing, but also lesson plans and an online interactive platform for educators and developers to share content and more.
With the pilot program and the spotlight shining on 3D printing within schools, what was uncovered was that an enormous percentage of teachers simply did not have the knowledge required to teach 3D design and 3D printing. Without the education foundation on their end, they simply weren’t comfortable and certainly not as motivated to want to dive into teaching a curriculum which they knew little to nothing about.
“By combining Tinkerine U training with Tinkerine Studios’ intuitive, easy-to-use 3D printers, educators can learn 3D printing within a matter of hours,” said Liz Arum, Tinkerine U’s education coordinator, who actually worked at MakerBot in a similar capacity previously.
After great preparation, development, and the completion of the global pilot program, Tinkerine U offers a premium educational program based on the STEAM curriculum through online delivery that includes:
- Lesson plans
- Online courses
- Technician training
- Maker space support
- Community collaboration
- Educator incentives
“Educators can leverage Tinkerine U’s expanding portfolio of 3D printing projects for the classroom and focus on teaching the lessons and engaging their students rather than troubleshoot hardware and software issues. Tinkerine U provides workable solutions for educators’ varying learning objectives,” said Arum.
Currently some of the program offerings will be free, with the possibility of higher-level content being offered at a price in the future. Are you interested in checking out what Tinkerine U has to offer? If so, click here for more information. You can also download their free iPad app which is available to everyone and offers a variety of information regarding 3D printing, as well as instruction regarding use of the DittoPro 3D printer, which is manufactured by Tinkerine.
Do you attend a school or know of someone who attends a learning institution that offers training in 3D printing? What do you think of Tinkerine’s mission to see students become 3D printing literate? Tell us your thoughts in the Tinkerine U’s Content Delivery Platform forum over at 3DPB.com.