For all the kids and families who love hearty mac-n-cheese or sharing popcorn at a movie, now communing around the dinner table or finishing a snack, and then heading to the 3D printer can become a smart way to connect–along with accomplishing some very creative recycling, enjoying three Maker Studio construction sets (each offering four projects) that set the stage for fun and learning, featuring the:
- Maker Studio Gears Set
- Maker Studio Propeller Set
- Maker Studio Winches Set
Available from ThinkFun, not only is the engineering expertise of Maker Studio founders Parker Thomas and David Yakos coming through loud and clear, but Thomas’ Montessori school and extensive maker experience shines, offering great inspiration in these twelve projects, total, that turn play into the very important work of children (or those of any age), as well as demonstrating a great method for turning what would have been trash into the central part of each piece with macaroni boxes, chips boxes, and even a popcorn box.
Yakos’ background in mechanical engineering as well as consumer product design and prototyping is brilliantly put to work in the outline of these projects, as well as showing his creativity for using household items to come up with ideas for just about anything.
Children are not only able to take a list of construction parts and go with it, experiencing challenge and the ability to think beyond–but they can 3D print the parts as well. While the kits are available with ready-made parts on Amazon in colorful packages, what a great way to take the project to the next scientific level.
Offering these ‘toys’ to your kids with the 3D printing angle involved is a multi-faceted gift to the younger generation as it gives them a way to really see what they can do with the technology in a utilitarian way as well as honing those STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) skills which will give a real head start in terms of all four disciplines. Each project features a video by the young Bella and her friend, Parker, making the entire idea look even more fun with the goal of finding a vehicle capable of ‘pulling’ out her tooth. The kids are full of energy and unabashed enthusiasm, which certainly couldn’t be a better ad for the products.
Each set of building challenges not only offers learning of construction and engineering principles from a different discipline, but allows for different uses as well, setting kids on their way for thinking about what skillsets they may be sincerely interested in developing further as they grow.
While these sets, appropriate for children seven and up, offer structured plans and a venue for specific learning, it shouldn’t take much for kids to start looking around the house and seeing what else they can put in motion, from boxes on wheels to putting an infinite variety of ‘things’ in action, whirring, riding, flying, and pumping around the home. Furthering that inspiration and motivation are the additional ten challenges included by PDF, which include ideas that should be hard enough to make kids think while still age appropriate enough to be fun and realistic for solving, leading to great confidence, a feeling of empowerment, and paving the road for enthusiasm in new projects.
Are these kits something you are interested in checking out? Discuss in the 3D Printed Maker Studios Construction Sets forum thread over at 3DPB.com. Check out some of the “Made by Bella” videos below, in which the youthful Bella demonstrates her making skills with these kits.