The multitude of impacts and efforts being put forth via 3D printing often pertain to very serious sectors, and subjects as doctors, scientists, and designers use the technology to create new products meant to change our worlds, and often save lives too. But the flip side is that in allowing the creative spirit to soar a la digital design and 3D printing, there is a lot of fun to be had, as well as learning through challenge.
The 3D printing industry is chock full of hackathons, challenges, and contests, but we see some of the most interesting designs in competition coming from students at the K-12 and college levels. These fresh young minds generally offer startling and refreshing new innovations due to not only youthful energy but also exposure to a technology that’s new and exciting to them. Many companies from smaller startups to larger 3D printing pioneers like Stratasys are proponents of encouraging design competition in the schools. Currently, Stratasys is partnering with both THE Journal and Campus Technology to ask students a question that should offer up a lot of great answers:
Shhhhh….while we are dying to raise our hands too, offering up so many, many things, this is now left up to the kids to answer in this latest contest centered around 3D printing.
“THE Journal is thrilled to be partnering with Stratasys for this contest,” said David Nagel, Editorial Director, Education for 1105 Public Sector Media Group. “Whether in art, science or ELA, 3D printing is a technology that can make students’ ideas into realities, and that is a powerful tool for education.”
This competition allows students to vie for a $5,000 grant and the chance to have a Stratasys Mojo 3D printer on campus. Partnerships like this one really show their support for helping kids not only to participate in contemporary and progressive technology but also allow them to begin building on an extremely valuable skill set.
“As a multi-disciplinary learning tool, 3D printing has made an incredible impact on higher education, engaging students and providing hands-on skills and experiences,” said Rhea Kelly, Executive Editor of Campus Technology. “Campus Technology is pleased to partner with Stratasys to help bring this powerful technology to a deserving campus.”
Students at K-12 and higher education levels are asked to watch an instructional video about 3D printing (and get ready to answer a question) and submit a 500-word essay explaining the benefits of having the technology in their school. The essay is to be submitted to THE Journal for consideration by November 30, 2015. The team at Stratasys will be choosing the winner upon reviewing entries.
“When classrooms add 3D Printing to their learning environment, innovation comes to life. The ability to turn your ideas into a physical model allows for a student to truly evaluate and make design iterations. True project-based learning and applied knowledge at a younger age is impacting students’ interest in the STEM fields and that is a highly desired outcome,” said Jesse Roitenberg, North American Education Manager at Stratasys. “We are so excited to be partnering with Campus Technology and THE Journal to bring a 3D printer to a deserving classroom.”
We’ve certainly followed many stories recently regarding the role 3D printing is playing in the STEM agenda, which is backed not only by the Obama administration but also heavily supported by those invested in 3D printing as it infiltrates so many areas, but especially manufacturing, where many jobs require individuals with 3D printing skills but there just aren’t enough people to fill the seats.
As this becomes more and more apparent, larger companies are supporting 3D printing programs in schools as well as promoting job fairs which discuss what’s needed as well as showing off recent graduates who’ve landed great jobs due to their skill sets which included both digital design and knowledge of 3D printing.
Are you or someone that you know planning to enter this competition? Discuss in the Stratasys 3D Printing Contest forum thread over at 3DPB.com. Check out the video below.