A Scituate Education Foundation grant was responsible for funding a 3D printer and software for the school, and the students used the MakerBot to design and 3D print a physical representation of their playground concept. “Fifth-grade students have been able to access and design 3D playground prototypes using Tinkercad software and a Makerbot printer,” Elementary Technology/STEM teacher Liz Dorgan told Wicked Local Scituate. “This was a great addition to the spring playground project. They were able to design a project that is realistic and to scale, use age-appropriate CAD software, print a 3D model, and develop 21st century skills.” The skills learned by the students are important ones, and there’s no better way to teach kids about technology than to have them work on a project that incorporates something they love – and for most kids, a playground qualifies. “3D printers for elementary schools offer the first step for gearing children toward a STEAM- oriented future. Through a combination of basic 3D modeling and assisted 3D printing, students become equipped with the essential tools to explore a STEAM career.” Having a 3D printer available is a benefit to teachers as well, as they must learn 3D design and 3D printing skills themselves in order to teach their students – a focus for MakerBot, which includes education as a major strategy. Putting a 3D printer in an elementary school also fosters connections between the elementary school students and middle and high school students, who already have access to 3D printers – the older students can work with the younger kids to teach them 3D printing skills while building new friendships and mentoring relationships.

Read the full article at 3DPrint.com | The Voice of 3D Printing / Additive Manufacturing