Often called the third industrial revolution, digital-based manufacturing and especially 3D printing is a technology that can enable easy (home-)production of various consumer and industrial goods. To demonstrate this technology to the next generation of designers and engineers, BCT Program Director Alexander Schreyer brought our 3D printer to Amherst’s Wildwood Elementary School. As part of the fourth- and sixth-grade IT curriculum (led by “Mr. T”, Trevor Takayama), he first demonstrated how to create printable 3D models and then let the students 3D print some of those. Many students had already designed objects using the freely available Tinkercad web app.
As the images show, the 3D printer proved to be a popular addition to the classroom. All kids also took home a small 3D-printed key tag with the “WW” letters on them. In the time since this visit, the Amherst Regional School District has purchased its own 3D printer and is working on integrating it permanently into the IT curriculum.
(All images by “Mr. T”, Trevor Takayama)