Like almost every other area, education has to keep up with the changing times in order to help students become more focused and interested in their learnings. Nothing excites an educator the way a student immerses himself or herself in the lessons at hand. When this happens, learning becomes easier as the need to understand something becomes very tangible in the part of the student. The teacher now becomes more of a facilitator rather than a platoon sergeant that drones information to an uninterested audience.
As Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics or STEAM gets a major boost in the curriculum change, educators need all the help they can get to make the revamp a success. This overhaul places a lot on the plate of educators as these are subjects that can often lead to wild-eyed looks from students. Complex and often intangible topics can lead to a careless shrug or a snooze or two.
The gap between theory and application are mostly found in these areas without the right tools. These subjects also traditionally require more than just passing concentration of students. The lack of interesting media as a vehicle for learning may doom the efforts to give priority to STEAM in the long run. Without added help, the curriculum change may just soon lead to the recruitment of more drill instructors in the classroom.
The rather unexpected, but pleasant help comes from Stratasys and the increasingly prevalent and popular 3D printing technology. Stratasys is offering for free a seven-module class in 3D printing that can be tailor-made for a specific class or level. These modules can be adjusted to accommodate beginners or more advanced students while the lessons can vary from days, weeks, and even months.
The modules generally cover the entire 3D printing process from start to finish. Educators can personalize the modules to guide students from an objects initial design, the making of the digital model, and the actual 3D printing of that specific virtual model.
The modules are warmly received by a good number of educators already. They clearly see the potential of what the modules can do for students of various levels with regards to STEAM. More than just being limited to the Science and Technology areas, 3D printing can be of massive help in understanding intangible and complex theories. Art students can produce ancient works of art with superb quality and accuracy based on available images. These students will have the chance to hold something, which existed hundreds of years ago in their hands. Complex math equations can also be better explained with 3D-printed representations of such equations. STEAM is set for a big year with these free modules from Stratasys.
Stratasys also took into consideration that certain educators might use a different learning environment other than the classroom to anywhere conducive for learning. Outside of the usual areas of learning, the modules may be used in almost any other setting. Plus, educators can also inform students about how 3D printing should be practiced in the world beyond grades and exams.