Lynda Mann and Allen O. Cage are the co-founders of the YouthQuest Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization headquartered in Chantilly, VA., created to provide opportunities for at-risk youth – particularly high school dropouts. The Foundation is focused on academic and vocational development and teaching fundamental life skills.
Now YouthQuest has created a Kickstarter campaign to fund the 3D ThinkLink Initiative, and it’s a plan to use 3D design and printing classes to teach critical thinking and problem-solving skills to those students.
Launched in early 2013, the initiative is all about helping students prepare for their continued education or to gain employment in STEM-based occupations. The group’s goal is to raise $8,000 to publish and package an introductory 3D design and printing curriculum, which will include Moment of Inspiration 3D modeling software, a course syllabus, a set of comprehensive lessons plans, supporting videos and student handouts. The classroom curriculum will be priced at $5,000 and will service a teacher and 10 students. The group also plans to offer a single-user, self-directed package for home use, and that curriculum will be priced at $650.
Once they’ve completed the course, the students will have earned a completion certificate following a performance-based assessment. YouthQuest says they hope sales to online subscribers will serve as a new source of revenue to support their work with at-risk youth – and to introduce a new generation of students to the power of 3D printing.
Mann says this curriculum will be based on the lessons developed during the years spent teaching students in National Guard Youth Challenge programs.
“We’ve seen over and over again that our training does much more than introduce students to the fast-growing technology of 3D printing,” Mann says. “It improves their problem solving skills, stimulates creativity, reinforces STEM education and builds self-esteem. Plus, it’s a lot of fun for them to discover how to turn their ideas into 3D-printed reality.”
The group says anyone who backs the Kickstarter campaign can rest assured that they’ll be helping at-risk kids learn to think differently and make better decisions through 3D programs. The campaign is set to run for 30 days, and 3D ThinkLink will deliver all rewards to their backers within 60 days of completing the funding for their $8,000 goal.
Mann adds that the curriculum packages and videos will be created, in-house, by the group’s Director of Instruction, Tom Meeks.
You can see all the details of the 3D ThinkLink project and the rewards on the group’s Kickstarter campaign here… Will you be supporting the 3D ThinkLink Initiative on Kickstarter? Let us know in the 3D ThinkLink Initiative forum thread on 3DPB.com. Check out the Kickstarter pitch video below: