PrintLab Partners

FabLab Co-Founder

Lead Mentor

How my Students use 3D Printing

Students and teachers alike at The Magellan International School in Austin, Texas started exploring 3D printing in 2017. In the i.lab for Design + Making, the school's K - 8 constructionist learning lab, our students create 3D prints to explore and extend unit concepts and themes, to develop design-thinking projects, and to play with their own imagination as well.

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The Importance of 3D Printing in Education

For me, 3D printing can be a powerful tool for fostering a sense of agency and empowerment for the school community. When a student is able to take an idea, create it digitally, and then hold it in their hands - that's a powerful moment. And one of the most valuable aspects of this "bits to atoms" concept is the mindset that is developed along the way; no amount of rote learning or direct teaching can come close to the lessons that are learned from the iterative design process.

My Thoughts on PrintLab Classroom

During this time of uncertainty in the educational landscape because of COVID-19, the PrintLab Classroom platform will be playing an important role in providing access to design and making for Magellan students, whether at home or at school. The resources that PrintLab offers will be a huge help when planning with grade level and content area teachers while lessons themselves are perfect for helping students begin to master 3D printing concepts.

My Advice for Teachers Getting Started with 3D Printing

Make mistakes! As a teacher, learning 3D printing can be overwhelming, and even more so when scaling up in a school setting. However, keep in mind that Implementation of 3D printing in the classroom is also an iterative process, so modeling that can be a powerful lesson for students. It's also OK to get stuck on a problem and seek help from another person or resource. Getting "unstuck" and other problem-solving strategies also play an important role in developing a Maker Mindset.

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