How to Convince Your School to Invest in a 3D Printer
The use of 3D printers is becoming increasingly prevalent across the workforce, from medicine to confectionary, aerospace to sportswear. The mere concept of them can seem daunting, and it is therefore easy for school leaders to overlook the benefits a 3D printer can have for their pupils. We’ve put together a list of strong arguments in favour of this fantastic investment in a bid to help you put forward a winning pitch to your school decision makers!
It Can Be Used in Any Subject
Although you may see the triumphs of 3D printing most commonly associated with fields in Science, the use of these printers can be extended to almost any subject in the curriculum. In maths, they have been used to help students visualise a particularly difficult concept or graph, with the added benefit of adding an exciting factor to a subject that typically has a ‘boring’ reputation. History lessons could come alive with replicas of ancient artefacts and geography students could visit mountain ranges without leaving the classroom.
It Will Prepare Pupils for the Future
3D printers aren’t just a technological fad, they are here to stay. Industry experts predict that they will soon be extremely commonplace, on a global scale, so why not give your pupils a head start? If children become comfortable with this technology, they will have a distinct advantage over their peers in the future.
It Has No Age Limit
Although it may seem like 3D printers are a complex piece of equipment, many out there are very user-friendly and ideal for learners of all ages. There are plenty of apps available specifically for 3D printing in the classroom that can align with all elements of the curriculum. Primary schools in particular are having great success with this new technology, with young learners understanding design and manufacturing concepts thanks to the practical application.
It Can Create New Partnerships
Having a 3D printer can benefit other members of the education community as well as just your school. Consider partnering with a university and inviting their students in to not only show pupils new uses for the printers, but to also inspire the next generation of graduates. You could even run a competition for parents and pupils to increase parental involvement, or invite a neighbouring school in for a demonstration.
‘3D Printers in Schools: Uses in the Curriculum’ Department of Education PDF
AirWolf 3D Printer Provider have a model the recommend to schools.
MakerBot Academy – an American intiative aiming to put a MakerBot Desktop 3D Printer in every school in America.
Leapfrog – Another 3D printer specifically designed for educational purposes with some good ideas for lesson plans too.