July 3, 2014
3D Printing in the Classroom: Recipes for Success
A short time ago I received my copy of The Invent to Learn Guide to 3D Printing in the Classroom: Recipes for Success. I’m very excited for a number of reasons to have this on my summer reading list. I had the opportunity to meet Dr. Thornburg and his lovely wife when I was at the World 3D Printing Expo in Burbank back in February. I had already been familiar with Dr. Thornburg’s work with The Thornburg Center, and it was a huge privilege to actually sit on a panel with him.
During our time together I learned that Dr. Thornburg was writing a book on 3D printing in the classroom, and I have been looking forward to it ever since. The book is fantastic. For a teacher looking into 3D printing for the first time, this book is easy to pick up and understand how this new technology can be integrated into the classroom. It covers what 3D printing is, the challenges of 3D printing in education, how to create 3D files to be printed, and even how it fits within standards. Then the book describes 18 different 3D printing projects that any teacher can do in their classroom.
One of my favorite aspects of this book is that it gives quick descriptions of the various software that can be used to make 3D files ready for printing. There are many resources out there and, although I have had fun exploring many of them, it is nice to have one source that can give a starting point for exploring these resources.
Of course, my absolute favorite part is that Dr. Thornburg referenced me and my entomology unit! I am so honored to be mentioned in this book. It makes me feel like I must be doing something right, and it encourages me to keep on doing these things. I can’t help but make a connection to the classroom when I experience things like this. If I feel encouraged and inspired by someone that I respect mentioning my work, won’t my students feel the same way if they have opportunities to do good work that is showcased? I’ll have to keep that in mind when school gets going again.