We all know the importance of 3D printers within the education arena. As the technology makes its way into schools around the planet, new applications and curricula continue to be developed to ensure that future generations are up to speed with this incredible technology. While thousands of 3D printers have been set up in public and private schools and universities across the nation over the last couple of years, we are still quite a ways away from mainstream adoption by educators. While China has presented a plan to hopefully place 3D printers into every school in the nation, the US may be lagging behind just a bit.

This may all be about to change, at least in the borough of Brooklyn, in New York, where Borough President Eric L. Adams has set out to put 3D printers in each of the almost 1,000 schools in Brooklyn. In what would certainly act as a model for other large school districts, such a move could spur widespread adoption of 3D printing by schools nationwide.

“Book-learning is so old-school,” Adams told BrooklynDaily.com. “We need a curriculum that prepares today’s students for the jobs of tomorrow — and today. In order to make tech education successful, it must be hands-on.”

It’s no coincidence that Brooklyn also happens to be the home of the largest desktop 3D printer manufacturer in the world, MakerBot--which Adams in in discussions with and hopes will be the supplier of this possible order.

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This could be a huge deal for MakerBot and parent company Stratasys (SSYS), which has been fighting off shareholder lawsuits and declining revenue growth rates over the last few quarters. With MakerBot offering several different 3D printers, which range in price from $1,375 for their Mini Replicator, all the way up to $6,500 for the MakerBot Replicator Z18, this deal could have quite an impact on the company’s top and bottom lines.

As for if CEO Jonathan Jaglom and company will offer some sort of discount on such a large order, especially since the end use certainly falls in line with MakerBot’s education initiatives, it is yet to be seen; however, Jaglom does seem to have something up his sleeve.b3

“We have some great ideas in place — we’ll share them, but we’re still developing those ideas,” said Jaglom according to BrooklynDaily.com.

While Adams has not stated how he would fund this move, and has’t identified any particular grants which will alleviate the financial burden of such a large order, he has already planned to use $61.67 million of the 2016 budget to improve upon the technology used within Brooklyn schools.

When I spoke with MakerBot’s former CEO, Jennifer Lawton, at CES earlier this year, she expressed to me how important it is for the entire industry to embrace 3D printing within the education space. She told me that desktop 3D printing would explode in use once an entire generation of students were to have access to the technology. Small steps like this one by Adams and MakerBot should lead to the gradual adoption of 3D printers within most school districts here in the US.

Let us know your thoughts on this potential MakerBot order. Discuss in the Brooklyn Schools and MakerBot forum thread on 3DPB.com.

[Via: BrooklynDaily.com]
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