My name is Jesus Huerta and I am a 5th grade teacher in Calexico California. I have been teaching six years and during my 2nd year teaching I had my first 3d printer donated via Donor's Choose. The reason I had sought one out was because I had gone to a conference and seen one in action. I asked the person giving the training, Ascension Reyes, if I could use it in a typical multiple subject classroom. He said "Why not?" and I haven't looked back since! It has changed the tone of my classroom and shown students what the future holds!
Jesus and his students actively participate in 3D printing prosthetics for those in need. Working in teams, students go through a rigorous process from measurement through to manufacture, before shipping the prosthetics.
3D Print Enthusiast
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How my Students use 3D Printing
My students use 3d printing in many different ways and some include: printing prizes for their cardboard arcade project, printing tokens and pieces for their board game project, designing solutions for classroom problems from scratch and finally printing and assembling 3d printed prosthetics.
The Importance of 3D Printing in Education
For me, anything that goes beyond a slideshow is pushing students to think critically. Nothing can replicate writing script, using blocks for coding or editing a video and the same can be said about 3d design and printing. From understanding how to balance the print area to setting up a print to remixing an existing design to creating something completely new, 3d printing pushes students to go beyond anything they have experienced before.
My Thoughts on PrintLab Classroom
I'll be honest, I was pretty proud of my tutorials for my students but the ones I've seen from PrintLab are incredible! I've had colleagues and other educators ask how difficult it can be to learn but I believe if I was to introduce them to PrintLab they would not feel as anxious about getting started. This, along with the price of printers dropping, make it possible for so many educators to begin introducing 3d printing in their classrooms.
My Advice for Teachers Getting Started with 3D Printing
I would ask educators to think about what their end goal is? Would 3d printing be an enrichment activity? If so, start with a printer or two. If they are looking to infuse it with their classrooms and with project based learning, then I would suggest investing in a mini print farm of 5-7 printers.
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