Upon seeing a need to help teachers educate their students on the basics of 3D printing, 3D printer innovators SeeMeCNC launched a complete 3D printing curriculum. Most of us would agree that there is a real need for more widespread education of the next generation about 3D printing, but most teachers simply don’t have the time or resources to construct a 3D printing curriculum. Not only are our teachers perpetually overworked and underpaid, they are often expected to continue their educations, without actually being given the resources to do so.
There has been a big push to get 3D printers into classrooms lately, and many of the industry’s biggest names have lined up to get their machines into the hands of eager students. But it takes more than sending a machine to a school — teachers need to know how to apply the lessons of 3D printing to their existing lesson plans. Being a 3D printing enthusiast isn’t enough to teach a room full of eager students about how 3D printing is going to be important to their futures, teachers need the tools to educate their students, and finally it seems that they are getting them.
Developed by Goshen High School teacher JJ Johnson, SeeMeEducate is designed to be usable by beginners or more advanced classes and can be adapted to any size class in virtually any grade. Each lesson is easily adapted to suit any teacher’s specific needs, and from a cursory read through it seems to be quite simple and easy for both teachers and students to understand. The curriculum also includes complete lesson plans and print projects, and while it can be downloaded and printed SeeMeCNC encourages teachers to use it directly from the internet as the curriculum will constantly be added to and improved as more teachers use the plan and make their own adjustments.
From Johnson’s own forward he writes “Why would anyone or any school need so many 3D printers you may ask? It’s simple, they motivate, captivate and unleash the creative possibilities that our students are yearning for. When a student has a 3D model on the computer its neat. When they print their design and hold it in their hands, manipulate it, find its strengths and weaknesses, well that’s just incredible.”
And did I mention that the curriculum was completely free and open source? Additionally, SeeMeCNC has released a special Educational Package that includes an Orion Delta 3D Printer, three spools of PLA and one spool of ABS for $1,450. They’ve also set up an educators forum, where teachers can look for new projects, lesson plans, objects to print and tips and tricks from other teachers, educators and industry experts.
The success of a project like this is dependent on teachers not only using and applying the curriculum, but on them engaging with the curriculum designers and helping to improve it. If you’re an educator go take a look at the curriculum yourself, and if you think you have something to add, head on over to the forums and join the discussion.
While you’re at it, take a look at this quick intro video produced by the folks at SeeMeCNC: