The appetite for 3D printers at school is increasing along with the spread of STEM education, if MakerBot's recent social media contest is any indication.
To participate, school leaders were asked to explain on social media how they would use a 3D printer from MakerBot if they were to win the contest. These posts then earned support from their fans, in the form of social media retweets, likes, favorites and more online props.
The following schools each received a refurbished Replicator Desktop 3D printer as a reward for their outstanding performance on social media: Nancy Elementary School, Kentucky; Sierra Middle School, New Mexico; Apex School, North Carolina; Valley Christian High School, California.
Each school also had something to say about their winning bid in the contest:
“The students at Nancy Elementary are going to be ecstatic to learn that they are the proud owners of their very own MakerBot. They can use their engineering and design skills to bring their ideas to life. What a wonderful opportunity to have in our elementary school! Students will also have the opportunity to cut down on a constraint in our lab—having enough pieces to build their robots while in the STEM lab. They will now be able to duplicate our building pieces using the MakerBot 3D printer. Every child deserves to take part in working with current technology that will and continue to change our world. Thank you to MakerBot for opening up new doors for our students!” — Karla Johnson, Nancy Elementary
“Hands-on instruction is the best way to support active, engaged learning in the classroom; with a Makerbot printer students will be able to create canisters for their payloads while supplying a plethora of scientific and mathematical stimulus that will keep students inspired during the learning process.” — Kathleen Arias, Sierra Middle School
“Imagine the classroom as a laboratory that has everything you need to build anything you can imagine. All you need to do is bring an idea and we have the technology to bring it to fruition. This is the vision we have for Apex High School. The Makerbot is the exact tool we need to achieve our vision.” —Ian Sands, Apex School
“Valley Christian High School students are thrilled to use our new MakerBot to bless our students and others. We have been talking about joining the Enable community to print prosthetic hands for children in need, and now we can… thank you MakerBot!” — Rob Dominik, Valley Christian High School
3D printers are becoming more affordable and widespread in K–12 environments, resulting in more makerspaces at schools, community centers and libraries. These dedicated spaces give tinkerers, engineers and students the chance to bring their projects to life with STEM-powered tools.
Makerspaces and 3D printing both made it into the New Media Consortium’s 2015 K–12 Horizon report, which covers technology trends on the rise in K–12 education. According to the report, the makerspace phenomenon is growing because they are environments “where students take ownership of their education by doing and creating.”
Here are a few of the social media successes launched by schools during the #WeNeedaMakerBot campaign:
— Kevin Burke (@KevinBurkeShow) November 23, 2015
— CLU Entrepreneurship (@CalLutheranCE) November 16, 2015
— Hidden Valley HS (@hvhs) November 16, 2015
— Nina Peery (@ninapeery) November 12, 2015
— Mr. Anderson (@MrTechfall) November 9, 2015