In school we want to push out students that will become the leaders of the future. We want to have the next doctor, lawyer, nurse, engineer and more be a student that comes back to us and says we guided them to their passion. As our world changes, then our view on how we guide our students needs to change as well. Technology has changed so much in the last 20 years and the next 5 will introduce tools that will allow items we envision to become reality. It's because of this that we need to create opportunities for our students to see, use and create with these tools. For this post I will focus on technology that is near and dear to my heart, 3D printing! In the future I will focus on other types of technology I use in the classroom, so please keep coming back to check those out!
3D printing and how it is changing everything
Taking our names and making it into a key chain may seem like a small deal but it's where we begin to grab our students attention. If we want to hook students onto science, we have them do experiments. We don't ask them to build a nuclear reactor the for their first experiment, instead we have them try something simple and make observations. The same can be said about 3D printing, which can lead to some "simple" mistakes that will create a lot of "AHA" moments for students. It's from this simplicity that we hook students and that can lead them to careers where they do the following...
3D printing a house
Yes, the above house was 3D printed! Not by a printer I would use in a classroom but instead a complex machine using a specially designed mixture of concrete. The idea for this was born from someone with exposure to 3D printing and the its first use will be to help those that live in areas/countries with high levels of poverty. Please click the above picture to read the entire article!
Bio-printing is the process of recreating body parts out of materials that are equal to human tissue. Researchers have created a cornea that matches the physical aspects of a very complex body part, which in a few years should reach the level of being ready to use in surgery. This type of work then allows for others to piggyback off its discoveries. Again, this is born from an interest in not just 3D printing but also technology and medicine. Click above for the article which has tons more info!
Creating affordable prosthetic limbs
The cost of a prosthetic hand can range from $5000(for a purely cosmetic limb) to more than $42000 for a myoelectric prosthesis(functional with motors). With 3D printing, limbs can be built for less than a $100 dollars and suddenly those without access to health insurance have an option that does not exclude them. I've included an article on comparing the two types, 3D printed and myoelectric, from the point of view of a person in need of a prosthesis. I have also included a video on someone who began creating 3D printing prosthesis and was inspired while he was in middle school.
Hi! My name is Jesus Huerta and I help kids find their creativity by making things! Tech comes second and all that jazz. Contact me with ANY questions at firstname.lastname@example.org