I was honestly first introduced to 3D Printing while watching Grey’s Anatomy when Dr. Christina Yang was working to print a portal vein. The theory then caught on and Dr. Meredith Grey was trying to 3D print a heart. During Christina’s research she visited a hospital in Switzerland that had 3D printers lined up printing all kinds of medical parts. The show completely captured my attention and had 3D printed hearts and livers while the doctors were trying to figure out how to use them in patients. It was certainly super cool technology!
At my previous school we purchased a Makerbot 3D printer. It was truly fascinating to set it up and watch it work. There are numerous ways that you can incorporate it into the curriculum but the time it takes to print one object is sometimes a tad hindering and it takes some strategic planning to figure out a timeframe.
The Virginia Beach Public Library has a 3D printer that they loaned to the librarian at Creeds Elementary School. The public library staff shared all kinds of figurines that they had printed and the students were thrilled to watch it work. The librarian showed classes a video of a 3D printed prosthetic leg for a dog and then tried to print something quickly so the students were able to observe. The technology is truly amazing and if budgets weren’t an issue I could see libraries having these for innovative curriculum related lessons.
The Hour of Code from code.org are awesome initiatives to try and get people interested in learning how to computer code. There are many different levels from beginners to advanced coders. There are also numerous programs to try and make it somewhat easier for users to understand. The push for students to learn coding is important in my opinion because we need the next generation of coders. I feel that the more we expose students to different technologies they may find out what they interested in.
Robots are fascinating technology because they have certainly come so far. Students love to see robots and the technology associated with them. Even if you only had the ability to Skype an engineer or organization that would be willing to share their experience or expertise with robots students would love it. Here’s a link to an article on Robots in elementary schools. There are some great links to different competitions and ways to incorporate the technology through Lego Leagues and more.
How Robotics is Transforming STEM in Elementary Schools – Getting Smart by Guest Author – coding, competitions, hour of code, robotics, STEM. (2016). Retrieved July 08, 2016, from http://gettingsmart.com/2016/01/how-robotics-is-transforming-stem-education-in-elementary-schools/